statute

noun
stat·​ute | \ˈsta-(ˌ)chüt, -chət\

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

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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of statute in a Sentence

The state legislature passed the statute by an overwhelming margin. business practices that are prohibited by statute

Recent Examples on the Web

Some state statutes charge fines as high as $2,500 per customer record exposed, sometimes without any showing of fault on the part of the business. Louise Lee, WSJ, "The Case for Protecting Small Firms From Cyber Lawsuits," 25 Nov. 2018 The commission is considering recommendations that would ensure codes are updated in state statutes and mandate more training for tradesmen, said state Senator Nick Collins, a South Boston Democrat who serves on the commission. Danny Mcdonald, BostonGlobe.com, "Relatives of two Boston firefighters killed in Back Bay blaze to testify on ‘hot work’ bill on Beacon Hill," 11 July 2018 State statute gives schools the power to discipline students, including by suspension or expulsion, but does not require emotional supports in those situations. Emma Kate Fittes, Indianapolis Star, "A Carmel High School student's suicide raises questions over how schools discipline kids," 11 July 2018 Here’s a quick primer on the statute and the controversy that swirls around it. Eric Barker, idahostatesman, "Headed outdoors? Make sure you know about Idaho's new trespassing law," 9 July 2018 The agencies need to worry primarily about the statute and the Constitution, not what the report said. Ariel Wittenberg, Science | AAAS, "Obama’s wetlands protection rule put ‘too much emphasis’ on science, Trump officials argue," 5 July 2018 The opaque and lugubrious language of the law is an unwitting accomplice in all this, the serpentine connections between precedents and statutes and sub-definitions shoving everything into abstractions. Rafia Zakaria, The New Republic, "On Sending Women Home to Die," 18 June 2018 The compliance check in May, the second held this year, resulted in three citations under violations of either local ordinance or state statutes. Jim Newton, Lake County News-Sun, "Lake County's police-aided drug treatment entry program continues to expand," 10 June 2018 State statute requires that lawmakers notify the public in advance or hold a referendum for voters in the area before pushing through a law that grants a benefit to a private corporation. Elizabeth Koh, miamiherald, "Nicklaus Children's Hospital challenges law allowing trauma center without full review | Miami Herald," 15 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of statute

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for 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

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Statistics for statute

Last Updated

2 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for statute

The first known use of statute was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for statute

statute

noun

English Language Learners Definition of statute

: a written law that is formally created by a government

: a written rule or regulation

statute

noun
stat·​ute | \ˈsta-chüt \

Kids Definition of statute

: law sense 4 a state statute

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

History and Etymology for statute

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

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Comments on statute

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