law and order

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: the enactment of laws (see law entry 1 sense 1a(1)) and their strict enforcement by police and the courts
He has touted his conservative approach to local government, emphasizing law and order and conservative fiscal policies.Andrew Quintana and Daniela Flamini
But Rucker said Deters' view of law and order can be inconsistent. He pointed to Deters' decision to not pursue charges against former Bengal Adam "Pacman" Jones, who was accused in 2017 of spitting on a jail nurse—a felony crime, Rucker said.Kevin Grasha
also : the safe, civil, and orderly functioning of society viewed especially as a result of the enactment and strict enforcement of laws
"We're looking to you, Councillor, and to the other leading citizens, to help us in upholding law and order in this township." Arthur Conan Doyle
Another thing that impressed itself upon me throughout England was the high regard that all classes have for law and order, and the ease and thoroughness with which everything is done. Booker T. Washington
It is both wrong and dangerous to threaten to deploy American soldiers against American citizens unless there is a complete breakdown of law and order in a state and the governor requests that assistance. William Perry


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law-and-or·​der ˈlȯ-ən(d)-ˈor-dər How to pronounce law-and-order (audio)
: relating to, characterized by, or advocating the enactment of laws and their strict enforcement
All these years, I've thought of Henry Hyde as a law-and-order kind of guy. A real hardnose when it comes to punishing those who break the law.Mike Royko
… all four dissenters were recent appointees of Richard Nixon, who had won the White House with a carefully orchestrated law-and-order campaign.David Oshinsky
Simon Kuper … says the Dutch public is more receptive than ever to law-and-order policies. The murders of Fortuyn in 2002 and Theo van Gogh, a controversial filmmaker in 2004, left the Dutch with a profound fear of chaos and disorder, and a negative self-image.Thijs Niemantsverdriet

Examples of law and order in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Political lessons from the past Abbott’s approach has been largely about law and order, which plays to his conservative Republican base. Gromer Jeffers Jr., Dallas News, 17 Sep. 2023 But, properly understood, law and order is golden, and crucial. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, 24 Aug. 2023 This comes as Republicans, who have traditionally touted themselves as the party of law and order, have escalated their verbal attacks on law enforcement and especially the FBI. Lindsay Whitehurst and Sam Metz, The Christian Science Monitor, 10 Aug. 2023 The President cites a threat to law and order, and federal agents are dispatched to disrupt protests in the nation’s capital, using tear gas and a military helicopter. Jeannie Suk Gersen, The New Yorker, 8 Aug. 2023 Nearly 10 months ago, Henry urged foreign militaries to help restore law and order in Haiti. Shannon K. Crawford, ABC News, 1 Aug. 2023 So does the abiding trope of a mysterious stranger riding into town to upend law and order, minds and hearts. Celia McGee, New York Times, 19 June 2023 Once the party of law and order, Republicans are now antagonists of federal law enforcement, undermining a storied institution and attacking Justice Department officials whose work is foundational to American democracy. Lisa Mascaro, Chicago Tribune, 17 July 2023 Meanwhile, in Hollywood, the establishment of the Production Code Administration, headed up by Joseph I. Breen, began to enforce its own kind of law and order over American cinema. Thomas Doherty, The Hollywood Reporter, 7 July 2023
This is clearly reflected in a recent New York Times poll of Republicans, where only 17% supported an anti-woke campaign, while 65% supported a law-and-order campaign. Raymond Scheppach, Fortune, 30 Aug. 2023 But somewhere since his days as a law-and-order mayor, Giuliani appears to have gone over to the dark side. Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune, 20 Aug. 2023 The push does not only come from Trump, suggesting how his contentious views toward federal law enforcement have shaped a party that has long promoted itself as the protector of law-and-order. Nicholas Riccardi, Anchorage Daily News, 5 Aug. 2023 While there is no suggestion that Mr. Adams is under criminal investigation, the cases are not the first to place the mayor, who touts his law-and-order credentials, in the awkward position of having to explain his conduct or that of his associates. William K. Rashbaum, New York Times, 4 Aug. 2023 If Sweet Tooth is chaotic evil, his lawful counterpart is Agent Stone (Thomas Haden Church), a former mall cop turned law-and-order evangelist. Alison Herman, Variety, 26 July 2023 If the left saw the shooting as typifying a government with a tough law-and-order agenda, the right stepped up its denunciations on Thursday of the protests that left cars, schools and government buildings in flames overnight. Roger Cohen, New York Times, 29 June 2023 Roberto Arzú, a conservative law-and-order candidate, was barred for allegedly started his campaign too early. Time, 25 June 2023 Critics say a fierce law-and-order approach could undermine public health goals and advances in addiction treatment. Jan Hoffman, New York Times, 21 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'law and order.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1575, in the meaning defined above


1839, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of law and order was in 1575

Dictionary Entries Near law and order

law agent

law and order


Cite this Entry

“Law and order.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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