law: Meaning and Definition of
- the principles and regulations established in a community by some authority and applicable to its people, whether in the form of legislation or of custom and policies recognized and enforced by judicial decision.
- any written or positive rule or collection of rules prescribed under the authority of the state or nation, as by the people in its constitution. Cf. bylaw, statute law.
- the controlling influence of such rules; the condition of society brought about by their observance: maintaining law and order.
- a system or collection of such rules.
- the department of knowledge concerned with these rules; jurisprudence: to study law.
- the body of such rules concerned with a particular subject or derived from a particular source: commercial law.
- an act of the supreme legislative body of a state or nation, as distinguished from the constitution.
- the principles applied in the courts of common law, as distinguished from equity.
- the profession that deals with law and legal procedure: to practice law.
- legal action; litigation: to go to law.
- a person, group, or agency acting officially to enforce the law: The law arrived at the scene soon after the alarm went off.
- any rule or injunction that must be obeyed: Having a nourishing breakfast was an absolute law in our household.
- a rule or principle of proper conduct sanctioned by conscience, concepts of natural justice, or the will of a deity: a moral law.
- a rule or manner of behavior that is instinctive or spontaneous: the law of self-preservation.
- (in philosophy, science, etc.)
- a statement of a relation or sequence of phenomena invariable under the same conditions.
- a mathematical rule.
- a principle based on the predictable consequences of an act, condition, etc.: the law of supply and demand.
- a rule, principle, or convention regarded as governing the structure or the relationship of an element in the structure of something, as of a language or work of art: the laws of playwriting; the laws of grammar.
- a commandment or a revelation from God.
- (sometimes cap.) a divinely appointed order or system.
- the preceptive part of the Bible, esp. of the New Testament, in contradistinction to its promises: the law of Christ.
- an allowance of time or distance given a quarry or competitor in a race, as the head start given a fox before the hounds are set after it.
- to follow one's own inclinations, rules of behavior, etc.; act independently or unconventionally, esp. without regard for established mores.
- The manager laid down the law to the workers.
- to state one's views authoritatively.
- to give a command in an imperious manner:The manager laid down the law to the workers.
- to administer justice as one sees fit without recourse to the usual law enforcement or legal processes: The townspeople took the law into their own hands before the sheriff took action.
- to sue or prosecute.
- (formerly) to expeditate (an animal).
— adj., adv., n. Obs.
— v.i., v.t., n. Obs.
— interj. Older Use.
- (used as an exclamation expressing astonishment.)
- 1858–1923, English statesman, born in Canada: prime minister 1922–23.
- 1671–1729, Scottish financier.
- 1686–1761, English clergyman and devotional writer.
- law (Thesaurus)