by·​law | \ ˈbī-ˌlȯ How to pronounce bylaw (audio) \
variants: or less commonly byelaw

Definition of bylaw

1 : a rule adopted by an organization chiefly for the government of its members and the regulation of its affairs
2 : a local ordinance

Examples of bylaw in a Sentence

the club's bylaws bar any member whose annual dues remain unpaid from voting in the election
Recent Examples on the Web Kleinbaum enlisted the support of town meeting members and co-petitioners Shira Hannah Fischer, Jonathan Klein, and Jonathan Davis, who worked together to ensure the bylaw’s passage. Katie Redefer,, 4 Dec. 2021 After about 40 minutes of debate, the bylaw passed 170-34 at a special town meeting on Dec. 1. Katie Redefer,, 4 Dec. 2021 Brookline’s bylaw applies only to the predominantly white town of around 60,000 residents, which has a median household income of about $117,000. NBC News, 24 Dec. 2021 In a statement, Interim Health Commissioner Patrick Maloney said the town is initially focusing on educating those businesses about their obligations under the new bylaw. John Laidler,, 21 Dec. 2021 Playing just eight games due to the OHSAA transfer bylaw, Elmore averaged 21.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.1 steals last season. Shelby Dermer, The Enquirer, 24 Nov. 2021 Dawn’s letter drew a blistering multi-page rebuttal from the party’s Constitution and Bylaw Committee, the group responsible for placing the bylaw repeal on the agenda. Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune, 12 Nov. 2021 One is a revision of the bylaw regarding public comment and the other is a new policy on civility and decorum. Mj Slaby, The Indianapolis Star, 15 Sep. 2021 Heinz said State bylaw 504.M is being tweaked to allow schools effected by COVID cancellations or the wild fires in Northern California the flexibility to reschedule games. John Maffei, San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 Sep. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bylaw.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bylaw

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bylaw

Middle English bilawe, probably from Old Norse *bȳlǫg, from Old Norse bȳr town + lag-, lǫg law

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The first known use of bylaw was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

18 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Bylaw.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for bylaw



English Language Learners Definition of bylaw

: a rule that an organization (such as a club or company) makes and that its members must follow
: a law or regulation that is made by a local government and that applies only to the local area


by·​law | \ ˈbī-ˌlȯ \

Legal Definition of bylaw

1 : a rule adopted by an organization chiefly for the government of its members and the management of its affairs
2 : a local ordinance often used in pl.

History and Etymology for bylaw

Middle English bilage, bilawe local law, probably ultimately from Old Norse bȳr town + lǫg law

More from Merriam-Webster on bylaw

Nglish: Translation of bylaw for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bylaw for Arabic Speakers


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