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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Scientific understanding and data offer our best window into environmental conditions and problems; without them, our environmental statutes would have little direction, and the resulting policies no teeth. Christopher Sellers, Vox, "How Republicans came to embrace anti-environmentalism," 6 July 2018 The states’ statutes differ on the specifics, as CNN reports. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "New York and Virginia Become the First States to Require Mental Health Education in Schools," 4 July 2018 To hold people such as Bronsted accountable for both stealing items and pawning them without using the false swearing statute, a prosecutor would have to issue charges of both forgery and theft of movable property. Taylor Palmby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A rare felony charge could help curb Wisconsin's opioid epidemic and property theft," 2 July 2018 The 29 countries in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are not referred to in its statutes as members or signatories but as allies. Time, "Trump Is Trying to Dismantle the World Order. Is NATO Next on His List?," 22 June 2018 The new statute doesn’t provide for making that information public. Sam Wood, Philly.com, "He gave a $125k gift to Jefferson, expecting it would help get a marijuana growing license. Was it pay-to-play?," 22 June 2018 In Connecticut, though, the prosecution time limit for most rapes, in the absence of DNA evidence, remains five years, even though most other states have extended their statutes beyond that. Ruth Padawer, New York Times, "Should Statutes of Limitations for Rape Be Abolished?," 19 June 2018 The agreement includes an order to comply with the statutes that prohibit candidates from entering polling places. Shawn R. Beals, Courant Community, "Middletown Rep. Joe Serra Agrees To Reprimand In Settlement Of 2016 Election Complaint," 7 June 2018 One important reason is that the Medicare statute prohibits Medicare from negotiating prices. Charles M. Silver And David A. Hyman, STAT, "Why does Wall Street love Trump’s ineffective drug-price plan?," 14 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about statute

Statistics for statute

Last Updated

4 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for statute

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on statute

What made you want to look up statute? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

something that serves to warn or remind

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!