Synonyms & Antonyms of law

1 a rule of conduct or action laid down by a governing authority and especially a legislature
  • a record number of laws were passed in that legislative session

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2 a collection or system of rules of conduct
  • it's important to obey the law at all times, or else you might end up in jail

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3 the department of government that keeps order, fights crime, and enforces statutes
  • a petty thief who had somehow managed to avoid the law for most of his life

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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

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Time Traveler for law

Time Traveler

The first known use of law was before the 12th century

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Cite this Entry

“Law.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Apr. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on law

Dictionary: Definition of law

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with law

Medical Dictionary: Definition of law

Spanish Central: Translation of law

Nglish: Translation of law for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of law for Arabic Speakers

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