: the control brought about by the existence or enforcement of such law
The Indian government is believed to have detained thousands of other people last year … . The government said the move, decried by critics as draconian, was necessary to maintain law and public order in the region.—BBC.com
The courts exist to uphold, interpret, and apply the law.
a lawyer who specializes in criminal law
In our civics class we learned how a bill becomes a law.
She has proposed a new law to protect people from being evicted unfairly.
Schools are required by law to provide a safe learning environment.
The bill will become law at the beginning of the year.
He's been in and out of trouble with the law for the last 10 years. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Federal officials want to repeal a law that delayed warnings about dangerous products.—Suzy Khimm, NBC News, 30 Nov. 2023 The 2015 racist massacre of nine Black members of the Emanuel AME church in Charleston has fueled the push to add a state-level hate crimes law in South Carolina, but some Republican state senators have repeatedly stalled the proposal.—CBS News, 29 Nov. 2023 The remainder of the refundable portion of the credit would phase in as under current law.—Elaine Maag, Forbes, 29 Nov. 2023 Soon after taking office, Biden took steps to reinvigorate enforcement of antitrust law.—H. Claire Brown, New York Times, 29 Nov. 2023 Consider, too, that despite the endurance of previous immigration laws that hamstrung entry of South Asians into America (a restriction Sabu was able to bypass because of his affiliation with Korda), aspects of the region’s culture came into sudden vogue during that period.—Hazlitt, 29 Nov. 2023 Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto A law designed to protect patients from surprise medical bills is contributing to the financial distress of some medical-service providers, which say lengthy billing disputes and payment delays with insurers are hurting their ability to stay afloat.—Soma Biswas, WSJ, 28 Nov. 2023 Along with other charges, Thug stands accused of violating Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, a law based on the more famous federal RICO statute that’s been used to target the mafia, drug cartels and other forms of organized crime.—Jewel Wicker, Billboard, 28 Nov. 2023 Such meetings are required by law and are often uninteresting formalities.—Paul Glader, Washington Post, 28 Nov. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'law.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Noun and Verb
Middle English, from Old English lagu, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse lǫg law; akin to Old English licgan to lie — more at lie
First Known Use
before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)