civil law

noun, often capitalized C&L

Definition of civil law

  1. 1 :  Roman law especially as set forth in the Justinian code

  2. 2 :  the body of private law developed from Roman law and used in Louisiana and in many countries outside the English-speaking world

  3. 3 :  the law established by a nation or state for its own jurisdiction

  4. 4 :  the law of civil or private rights

Circa 1500

First Known Use of civil law

circa 1500


CIVIL LAW Defined for English Language Learners

civil law

noun, often capitalized C&L

Definition of civil law for English Language Learners

  • : laws that deal with the rights of people rather than with crimes


Law Dictionary

civil law

noun , often cap C&L

Legal Definition of civil law

  1. 1 :  Roman law especially as set forth in the Code of Justinian

  2. 2 :  the body of law developed from Roman law and used in Louisiana, in continental Europe, and in many other countries outside of the English-speaking world including especially those that were colonized by countries of continental Europe — compare common law Editor's note: Although Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. whose law is based entirely on civil law, remnants of civil law remain in other states (as Texas and California) in which countries of continental Europe had a strong influence.

  3. 3 :  the law established by a nation or state for its own jurisdiction

  4. 4 :  the law that applies to private rights especially as opposed to the law that applies to criminal matters — compare criminal law


Learn More about civil law


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up civil law? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a mode of satirical wit

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • manet-jeanne-spring
  • Which is a synonym of chaffer?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ