martial law

noun

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

The government has imposed martial law throughout the city to stop the riots. an area placed under martial law
Recent Examples on the Web With a culture forged by eras of Indigenous people, hundreds of years of Chinese immigration, Japanese colonial occupation, and a harsh period of martial law, Taiwan is not monolithic. Amy Chang Chien, BostonGlobe.com, 5 Aug. 2022 The 91-year-old noted that the venue had been a detention center for political dissidents during Taiwan’s long years of martial law. New York Times, 3 Aug. 2022 The 33rd declared martial law, with reports of atrocities against civilians; members of the unit then staged a coup d’etat against Konrad, but lost. Matt Gardner, Forbes, 26 June 2022 He was elected president twice, then declared martial law and clung to power for another 14 years, an era of rampant corruption and human rights abuses. Feliz Solomon, WSJ, 10 May 2022 But a return to the hard-line rule of his father, who declared martial law for much of his rule, is not likely, said Julio Teehankee, a political science professor at Manila’s De La Salle University. David Rising And Jim Gomez, The Christian Science Monitor, 10 May 2022 In response to the Russian invasion, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, had declared martial law and ordered a general mobilization, forbidding males between the ages of eighteen and sixty to leave the country. Luke Mogelson, The New Yorker, 2 May 2022 Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky declared martial law and encouraged his compatriots to take up arms. Los Angeles Times, 24 Feb. 2022 His father's corrupt and brutal rule of the Philippines was bolstered by almost a decade of martial law from 1972 to 1981. Helen Regan, CNN, 30 June 2022 See More

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, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for martial law

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The first known use of martial law was in 1576

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Dictionary Entries Near martial law

martialize

martial law

martialness

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Statistics for martial law

Last Updated

7 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Martial law.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/martial%20law. Accessed 8 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for martial law

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

More from Merriam-Webster on martial law

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for martial law

Britannica English: Translation of martial law for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about martial law

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