law and order


Definition of law and order

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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


law-and-or·​der | \ ˈlȯ-ən(d)-ˈor-dər How to pronounce law-and-order (audio) \

Definition of law-and-order (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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

First Known Use of law and order


1575, in the meaning defined above


1839, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of law and order was in 1575

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Cite this Entry

“Law and order.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jul. 2022.

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