martial law

noun
Updated on: 16 Nov 2017

Definition of martial law

1 :the law applied in occupied territory by the military authority of the occupying power
2 :the law administered by military forces that is invoked by a government in an emergency when the civilian law enforcement agencies are unable to maintain public order and safety

Examples of martial law in a Sentence

  1. The government has imposed martial law throughout the city to stop the riots.

  2. an area placed under martial law

Recent Examples of martial law from the Web

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

First Known Use of martial law

1576


MARTIAL LAW Defined for English Language Learners

martial law

noun

Definition of martial law for English Language Learners

  • : control of an area by military forces rather than by the police


Law Dictionary

martial law

noun mar·tial law \ ˈmär-shəl- \

legal Definition of martial law

1 :the law applied in occupied territory by the military authority of the occupying power
2 :the law administered by military forces that is invoked by a government in an emergency when civilian law enforcement agencies are unable to maintain public order and safety — compare military law

Learn More about martial law


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up martial law? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to buzz or drone

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!