statute

noun stat·ute \ ˈsta-(ˌ)chüt , -chət \
Updated on: 17 Nov 2017

Definition of statute

1 : a law enacted by the legislative branch of a government
2 : an act of a corporation or of its founder intended as a permanent rule
3 : an international instrument setting up an agency and regulating its scope or authority

Examples of statute in a Sentence

  1. The state legislature passed the statute by an overwhelming margin.

  2. business practices that are prohibited by statute

Recent Examples of statute from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of statute

Middle English, from Anglo-French estatut, from Late Latin statutum law, regulation, from Latin, neuter of statutus, past participle of statuere to set up, station, from status position, state

Synonym Discussion of statute

law, rule, regulation, precept, statute, ordinance, canon mean a principle governing action or procedure. law implies imposition by a sovereign authority and the obligation of obedience on the part of all subject to that authority.
    • obey the law
rule applies to more restricted or specific situations.
    • the rules of the game
regulation implies prescription by authority in order to control an organization or system.
    • regulations affecting nuclear power plants
precept commonly suggests something advisory and not obligatory communicated typically through teaching.
    • the precepts of effective writing
statute implies a law enacted by a legislative body.
    • a statute requiring the use of seat belts
ordinance applies to an order governing some detail of procedure or conduct enforced by a limited authority such as a municipality.
    • a city ordinance
canon suggests in nonreligious use a principle or rule of behavior or procedure commonly accepted as a valid guide.
    • the canons of good taste


STATUTE Defined for English Language Learners

statute

noun

Definition of statute for English Language Learners

  • : a written law that is formally created by a government

  • : a written rule or regulation


STATUTE Defined for Kids

statute

noun stat·ute \ ˈsta-chüt \

Definition of statute for Students

: law 4
  • a state statute

Law Dictionary

statute

noun stat·ute \ ˈsta-chüt \

legal Definition of statute

1 : a law enacted by the legislative branch of a government — see also code, statutory law
2 : an act of a corporation or its founder intended as a permanent rule
3 : an international instrument setting up an agency and regulating its scope or authority
  • the statute of the International Court of Justice

Origin and Etymology of statute

Latin statutum law, regulation, from neuter of statutus, past participle of statuere to set up, station, from status position, state



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up statute? 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 remove or wipe out

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?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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!