natural law


Definition of natural law

: a body of law or a specific principle held to be derived from nature and binding upon human society in the absence of or in addition to positive law

Examples of natural law in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Neither historian, layman, nor lawyer will be persuaded that all the details prescribed in Roe v. Wade are part of either natural law or the Constitution. WSJ, 3 May 2022 Perhaps Vermeule and Smith are of the view that the natural law does, in fact, forbid the constitutional arrangements adopted by the people through the Constitution. J. Joel Alicea, National Review, 3 May 2022 Even when LuPone is just shimmying along with the ensemble, her magnetism is as incontrovertible as a natural law. Charles Mcnultytheater Critic, Los Angeles Times, 2 May 2022 This may cost you dearly in your relationship with your mother; your actions will have consequences, too, since that bit of natural law doesn’t spare people who act in good faith. Washington Post, 20 Apr. 2022 This tells us that the Greater Will, the natural law of the world which the Golden Order worked to uphold, and the study of astrology were at odds with each other. Washington Post, 17 Apr. 2020 Thomas has described his judicial philosophy as one of natural law, in which liberty and equality are endowed by God. New York Times, 22 Feb. 2022 Parents who want their children to study CRT, or natural law, or Talmud, or none of these things would be able to find schools that meet their needs. Samuel Goldman, The Week, 14 July 2021 That is, American conservatism doesn’t flow solely from appreciating human fallibility, understanding natural law, and valuing prudence. Andy Smarick, National Review, 24 Sep. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'natural law.' 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 natural law

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of natural law was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near natural law

natural language

natural law

natural life

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Last Updated

14 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Natural law.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for natural law

natural law


Legal Definition of natural law

: a body of law or a specific principle of law that is held to be derived from nature and binding upon human society in the absence of or in addition to positive law

Note: While natural law, based on a notion of timeless order, does not receive as much credence as it did formerly, it was an important influence on the enumeration of natural rights by Thomas Jefferson and others.

More from Merriam-Webster on natural law Encyclopedia article about natural law


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