the spirit of the law

noun phrase

: the aim or purpose of a law when it was written
They seem to be more concerned with obeying the letter of the law than with understanding the spirit of the law.

Examples of the spirit of the law in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The county argued the operation, which was not profitable, did not align with the spirit of the law and the land was simply being labeled as agricultural to take advantage of a tax loophole. Bill Lukitsch, Kansas City Star, 22 May 2024 Meanwhile, the La Playa Piers, with the exception of the Nichols Street Pier, have been updated over the years to comply with the spirit of the law. Jennifer Van Grove, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 Mar. 2024 Some whistleblower lawyers are encouraging more reporting of any agreement that might fall afoul of the spirit of the law. Mengqi Sun, WSJ, 5 Dec. 2023 As Rolling Stone has previously reported, nearly all of the biggest ticket resale companies have skirted those laws in ways that at minimum go against what the spirit of the law intended and at worst outright breaks it. Ethan Millman, Rolling Stone, 17 June 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'the spirit of the law.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Dictionary Entries Near the spirit of the law

Cite this Entry

“The spirit of the law.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jun. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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