lawgiver

noun

law·​giv·​er ˈlȯ-ˌgi-vər How to pronounce lawgiver (audio)
1
: one who gives a code of laws to a people
2

Examples of lawgiver in a Sentence

political activists strenuously lobbied the state's lawgivers to expand the scope of the civil rights legislation
Recent Examples on the Web The oil painted portraits of past judges and four marble figures, all historically significant lawgivers, loomed overhead, mounted on the walls of the courtroom. Ella Lee, USA TODAY, 25 May 2023 Time and again, in unilaterally decreeing sweeping legislative policies such as student-loan forgiveness, an eviction moratorium, and a national vaccine mandate, Biden has acted as if the president is a national lawgiver with general police powers. The Editors, National Review, 25 Apr. 2023 Thus, the biblical lawgiver made sure that no Jew would ever get a perfect 10 in the test of the commandments. Joseph Berger, New York Times, 13 Apr. 2023 Yet the earliest legal collection in the Bible, in the book of Exodus, lacks the role of the king as a lawgiver for the first time in the history of the ancient Near East. Samuel L. Boyd, The Conversation, 10 Mar. 2022 Scholars have noted an innovation that occurred in the laws in the Bible: There is no king who acts as the lawgiver. Samuel L. Boyd, The Conversation, 10 Mar. 2022 In other words, a Spartan way of life that gradually took shape was retroactively attributed to a single lawgiver, whose name gave it an almost divine authority. Adam Kirsch, The New Yorker, 7 June 2021 In ancient Sparta, the lawgiver Lycurgus had contrived to make his constitution permanently unamendable. Akhil Reed Amar, Time, 7 May 2021 What makes Larsen’s novel so striking is its cold, utilitarian atmosphere of let the joke on the lawgiver be. Darryl Pinckney, The New York Review of Books, 10 Mar. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'lawgiver.' 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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of lawgiver was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near lawgiver

Cite this Entry

“Lawgiver.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lawgiver. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

lawgiver

noun
law·​giv·​er ˈlȯ-ˌgiv-ər How to pronounce lawgiver (audio)
1
: one who gives a code of laws to a people
2

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