natural law

noun

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

This year, in celebration of the document’s 10-year anniversary, George argued that only public policies affirming natural law are just laws that should be obeyed. Kathryn Joyce, The New Republic, "The Man Behind the State Department’s New “Natural Law” Focus," 14 June 2019 This is the basic story told by the students of Harry V. Jaffa and, in a more libertarian form — one less friendly to religion and natural law — by George F. Will in his new book, The Conservative Sensibility. Daniel J. Mahoney, National Review, "Democracy’s Moral Foundations: Recovering Our ‘Constitution in Full’," 20 June 2019 But today, Pickett said, natural law theory is mostly used to justify differential treatment of LGBTQ people. Kathryn Joyce, The New Republic, "The Man Behind the State Department’s New “Natural Law” Focus," 14 June 2019 Story aligned with Marshall in personal-liberty cases and wrote a prudently narrow opinion in the famous Amistad case, freeing the African mutineers based on Spanish law and domestic treaty obligations rather than on principles of natural law. Marc M. Arkin, WSJ, "‘Supreme Injustice’ Review: The High Court and Slavery," 18 Jan. 2019 Paid for by a freedom loving American Citizen exercising my natural law right, protected by the 1st Amendment and protected by the 2nd Amendment. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Facebook won’t fix itself," 15 Nov. 2018 Paid for by a freedom loving American Citizen exercising my natural law right, protected by the 1st Amendment and protected by the 2nd Amendment. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Facebook won’t fix itself," 15 Nov. 2018 But a really good fusion should feel predestined, like the product of some natural law. Sam Anderson, New York Times, "New Sentences: From ‘How to Break Up With Your Phone’," 18 Apr. 2018 Paid for by a freedom loving American Citizen exercising my natural law right, protected by the 1st Amendment and protected by the 2nd Amendment. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Facebook won’t fix itself," 15 Nov. 2018

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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10 Aug 2019

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

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More Definitions for natural law

natural law

noun

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

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about natural law

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