martial law

noun

Definition of martial law

1 : the law applied in occupied territory by the military authority of the occupying power
2 : the law administered by military forces that is invoked by a government in an emergency when the civilian law enforcement agencies are unable to maintain public order and safety

Examples of martial law in a Sentence

The government has imposed martial law throughout the city to stop the riots. an area placed under martial law
Recent Examples on the Web Rights activists announced during the news conference a series of protests on Sept. 21 to mark the 50th anniversary of Marcos's martial law declaration. Arkansas Online, 11 Sep. 2022 In 1963, the governor of Maryland declared martial law to quell civil rights demonstrations. Immy Humes, Smithsonian Magazine, 3 Aug. 2022 The strongman praised the martial law era and in some ways emulated it with his bloody six-year war on drugs. Regine Cabato, Washington Post, 16 June 2022 With a second Marcos presidency just a few weeks away, many martial law victims worry that the line between truth and lies will be irreversibly blurred. New York Times, 7 June 2022 Under martial law regulations, junta chief Min Aung Hlaing approves all executions and has the authority to overturn executions or commute death sentences to lesser penalties. Heather Chen, CNN, 27 May 2022 Once martial law status is terminated or canceled, all these excise taxes and regular VAT rates will be applicable again. Tax Notes Staff, Forbes, 26 Apr. 2022 An order of martial law from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy requires men ages 18 to 60 to stay to defend the country. Martin Kuz, The Christian Science Monitor, 23 Aug. 2022 Ukraine remains under martial law and large public gatherings have been banned in the capital ahead of the Independence Day holiday Wednesday due to fears of potential Russian bombardment. oregonlive, 23 Aug. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'martial law.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of martial law

1576, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for martial law

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The first known use of martial law was in 1576

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Dictionary Entries Near martial law

martialize

martial law

martialness

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Statistics for martial law

Last Updated

24 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Martial law.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/martial%20law. Accessed 25 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for martial law

martial law

noun
mar·​tial law | \ ˈmär-shəl- \

Legal Definition of martial law

1 : the law applied in occupied territory by the military authority of the occupying power
2 : the law administered by military forces that is invoked by a government in an emergency when civilian law enforcement agencies are unable to maintain public order and safety — compare military law

More from Merriam-Webster on martial law

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for martial law

Britannica English: Translation of martial law for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about martial law

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