common-law

adjective
com·​mon-law | \ ˈkä-mən-ˌlȯ How to pronounce common-law (audio) \

Definition of common-law

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or based on the common law
2 : relating to or based on a common-law marriage

common law

noun

Definition of common law (Entry 2 of 2)

: the body of law developed in England primarily from judicial decisions based on custom and precedent, unwritten in statute or code, and constituting the basis of the English legal system and of the system in all of the U.S. except Louisiana

Examples of common-law in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Allen’s claims in the lawsuit are for common law trademark infringement and unfair competition. Patrick Danner, ExpressNews.com, "Who’s going to fix this? San Antonio handyman battles Ace Hardware over new venture’s name.," 28 Feb. 2020 The term’s slippery definition, which was historically written to exclude workers of color in sectors like farm work and domestic work, varies between statutes and in common law. Andrew Schwartz, The New Republic, "Gig-Working Through the Apocalypse," 8 Apr. 2020 Australia’s legal system is built on British common law. New York Times, "Cardinal Pell’s Acquittal Was as Opaque as His Sexual Abuse Trial," 7 Apr. 2020 The boy’s body was found about six hours after Tamara Jernel Brown, 30, was arrested by Charlotte police for common law robbery and two counts of assault on a government official. USA TODAY, "Fallen hero honored, manatees rescued, rabid bats on campus, hungry bears not hibernating: News from around our 50 states," 24 Feb. 2020 Some radical forces want to establish Sharia law in the South Asian country, which is largely governed by a legal system based on British common law. Washington Post, "Bangladesh sentences 10 to death for 2001 political bombings," 20 Jan. 2020 But in common law nations such as Britain, the U.S. and Australia, a Red Notice does not trigger an arrest. Fortune, "Carlos Ghosn Is Now a Fugitive In Exile. Here Are His Legal Options, According to Experts," 10 Jan. 2020 The suit alleges copyright infringement, infringement of registered mark, false association, violation of the right of publicity and California common law trademark infringement. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al, "Kim Kardashian West suing Alabama doctor over ‘vampire facial’ advertising," 11 Dec. 2019 In reality, Biden is talking about the culture of domestic violence, and how permissiveness toward such behavior today comes from English common law and centuries-old attitudes in Europe. Hanna Kozlowska, Quartz, "Reminder: Video editing still beats deepfakes for spreading disinformation," 2 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'common-law.' 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 common-law

Adjective

1619, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for common-law

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The first known use of common-law was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Common-law.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/common-law. Accessed 28 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for common-law

common-law

adjective
How to pronounce common law (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of common-law

 (Entry 1 of 2)

used to describe a relationship between a man and a woman that is considered to be a marriage because the man and woman have lived together for a long period of time

common law

noun

English Language Learners Definition of common law (Entry 2 of 2)

: the laws that developed from English court decisions and customs and that form the basis of laws in the U.S.

common law

noun

Legal Definition of common law

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a body of law that is based on custom and general principles and embodied in case law and that serves as precedent or is applied to situations not covered by statute the common law of torts : as
a : the body of law that was first developed in the English courts of law as distinguished from equity and that allows for particular remedies (as damages or replevin) in suits at common law…the right of trial by jury shall be preservedU.S. Constitution amend. VII — compare equity sense 2
b : the body of law developed in England that is the basis of U.S. federal law and of state law in all states except Louisiana — compare civil law sense 2, statutory law

common-law

adjective

Legal Definition of common-law (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or based on the common law common-law immunity
2 : relating to or based on a common-law marriage her common-law husband

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