Synonym Chooser

How is the word statute distinct from other similar nouns?

Some common synonyms of statute are canon, law, ordinance, precept, regulation, and rule. While all these words mean "a principle governing action or procedure," statute implies a law enacted by a legislative body.

a statute requiring the use of seat belts

In what contexts can canon take the place of statute?

While the synonyms canon and statute are close in meaning, canon suggests in nonreligious use a principle or rule of behavior or procedure commonly accepted as a valid guide.

the canons of good taste

Where would law be a reasonable alternative to statute?

In some situations, the words law and statute are roughly equivalent. However, law implies imposition by a sovereign authority and the obligation of obedience on the part of all subject to that authority.

obey the law

When can ordinance be used instead of statute?

While in some cases nearly identical to statute, ordinance applies to an order governing some detail of procedure or conduct enforced by a limited authority such as a municipality.

a city ordinance

When is it sensible to use precept instead of statute?

Although the words precept and statute have much in common, precept commonly suggests something advisory and not obligatory communicated typically through teaching.

the precepts of effective writing

When might regulation be a better fit than statute?

The words regulation and statute can be used in similar contexts, but regulation implies prescription by authority in order to control an organization or system.

regulations affecting nuclear power plants

When is rule a more appropriate choice than statute?

The words rule and statute are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, rule applies to more restricted or specific situations.

the rules of the game

Thesaurus Entries Near statute

Cite this Entry

“Statute.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

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