le·​gal·​ism | \ ˈlē-gə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce legalism (audio) \

Definition of legalism

1 : strict, literal, or excessive conformity to the law or to a religious or moral code the institutionalized legalism that restricts free choice
2 : a legal term or rule

Examples of legalism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Republicans in Congress universally accepted this preposterous arrangement as good enough for them, and set the stage for abusive legalism to become an ongoing theme of Trump’s presidency. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Trump’s talk of pardoning Manafort is a clear abuse of power," 29 Nov. 2018 In response, Boeing vice president Austell dismissed the Airbus position as a deceptive legalism. Dominic Gates, The Seattle Times, "WTO upholds ruling against Washington’s tax reduction for Boeing," 9 June 2017 The denomination, which strictly follows Robert’s Rules of Order, seems to work out huge questions of culture and theology this way: through legalism. Emma Green, The Atlantic, "A Conservative Christian Battle Over Gender," 5 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'legalism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of legalism

1871, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for legalism

The first known use of legalism was in 1871

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More from Merriam-Webster on legalism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with legalism Encyclopedia article about legalism

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