international law


: a body of rules that control or affect the rights of nations in their relations with each other

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Karli says that Kilicdaroglu will call out Russia for its violation of international law, referring to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, while maintaining a balancing role between Moscow and Turkey’s Western allies. Nadeen Ebrahim, CNN, 8 Mar. 2023 The legislation would almost certainly be challenged in Britain’s domestic courts and could be found in contravention of international law and in violation of the convention. Megan Specia, New York Times, 7 Mar. 2023 Mao Ning, a spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry, said at a press briefing that the U.S. actions have no basis in international law and no U.N. Security Council mandate. John Bacon, USA TODAY, 28 Feb. 2023 The crime of aggression is one of the core crimes in international law alongside genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity but hasn’t been prosecuted in decades. Laurence Norman, WSJ, 30 Nov. 2022 The decision was criticized as a violation of international law, and many U.S. officials urged Joe Biden to reverse it. Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker, 27 Feb. 2023 Most countries consider all the settlements to be a violation of international law. Isabel Kershner, New York Times, 26 Feb. 2023 But last Saturday, Vice President Kamala Harris brought up the child deportation issue in accusing Russia of committing crimes against humanity, an even more serious breach of international law. Josh Meyer, USA TODAY, 26 Feb. 2023 Leaving someone without citizenship is an open breach of international law. Adam Taylor, Washington Post, 23 Feb. 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1789, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of international law was in 1789

Dictionary Entries Near international law

Cite this Entry

“International law.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Mar. 2023.

Legal Definition

international law

: a body of laws, rules, or legal principles that are based on custom, treaties, or legislation and that control or affect the rights and duties of nations in relation to each other compare internal law

More from Merriam-Webster on international law

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