lay down the law

Definition of lay down the law

:to make a strong statement about what someone is or is not allowed to do
  • The agreement lays down the law (to everyone) on what the group allows.
  • When she came home after midnight, her father laid down the law: if she came home that late again, she would not be allowed to watch TV for a month.

Word by Word Definitions

down play
  1. : toward or in a lower physical position

  2. : to a lying or sitting position

  3. : toward or to the ground, floor, or bottom

  1. : down (see 1down) along, around, through, toward, in, into, or on

  1. : to cause to go or come down (see 1down) : such as

  2. : to cause to fall by or as if by shooting : bring down

  3. : consume

  1. : occupying a low position

  2. : directed or going downward

  3. : lower in price

  1. : descent, depression

  2. : an instance of putting down someone (such as an opponent in wrestling)

  3. : a complete play to advance the ball

  1. : an undulating usually treeless upland with sparse soil

  2. : a sheep of any breed originating in the downs of southern England

  1. : a covering of soft fluffy feathers

  2. : something soft and fluffy like down

  1. : down syndrome

law play
  1. : a binding custom or practice of a community : a rule of conduct or action prescribed (see prescribe 1a) or formally recognized as binding or enforced by a controlling authority

  2. : the whole body of such customs, practices, or rules

  3. : common law

  1. : litigate

  2. : to sue or prosecute at law


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