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

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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 Ryan Ayliffe said during a press conference on Friday that bylaw officers asked the police for assistance because the skaters were not maintaining distance between each other. Emma Colton, Washington Examiner, "VIDEO: Officers pulls Taser on ice hockey player after crowd breaks coronavirus restrictions," 20 Dec. 2020 Because Tolleson eliminated football this fall, McElhenny could transfer to a school closest to his home that was playing football and not have to sit out several games, according to an Arizona Interscholastic Association bylaw. Richard Obert, The Arizona Republic, "McElhenny seizes football moment at Ironwood after Tolleson lost season due to pandemic," 2 Dec. 2020 The meeting was held to vote on bylaw changes and to organize staffing of subcommittees to further the group’s work for the upcoming elections. oregonlive, "Oregon woman sues Lane County Republican Party, alleges members mocked her disability, refused to provide wheelchair access to meeting," 27 Oct. 2020 All college teams will be barred from practices and competitions on Tuesday, Nov. 3, as part of a new NCAA bylaw designed to encourage athletes to vote. Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, "Might UCLA alter its tight end heavy offense? Chip Kelly says no," 12 Oct. 2020 On a virtual meeting last week, league officials reminded school activities directors of the bylaw concerning undue influence on student-athletes. David Lavaque, Star Tribune, "Questions persist about new stopgap high school hockey leagues," 12 Oct. 2020 But United Power said Tri-State pledged to allow members to produce more of their own electricity, giving them an opportunity to increase the use of renewable energy, but instead pushed through a bylaw change designed to limit members’ options. Judith Kohler, The Denver Post, "Tri-State’s largest member electric cooperative sues, claiming contract holds it captive," 6 May 2020 Phoenix argued in court records that there is no legal requirement or bylaw within the city’s general-employee pension system that mandates the inclusion of unused sick time in pension-benefit calculations. Jessica Boehm, The Arizona Republic, "Arizona Supreme Court says Phoenix city employees must stop 'pension spiking'," 10 July 2020 Additionally, as with any bylaw, policy, directive or guidance from the IHSAA, member schools may impose more restrictive guidance and those enhancements will be supported by the IHSAA on behalf of the member school. Kyle Neddenriep, The Indianapolis Star, "Many questions remain, but return to high school sports will be made district by district," 20 May 2020

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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Time Traveler for bylaw

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for bylaw

Last Updated

31 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bylaw.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for bylaw


How to pronounce bylaw (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of bylaw

US : 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

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