Share this entry

Share this page

Penal Laws

Line breaks: Penal Laws

Definition of Penal Laws in English:

plural noun

Various statutes passed in Britain and Ireland during the 16th and 17th centuries that imposed harsh restrictions on Roman Catholics. The laws were repealed by various Acts between 1791 and 1926. See also Catholic Emancipation, Test Act.
Example sentences
  • Founded in 1793, following the repeal of the repressive Penal Laws, Carlow College, Ireland, is today well into its third century of education.
  • Their mission was to provide people with religious instruction in an attempt to rejuvenate Catholicism in Ireland following the Penal Laws.
  • She was educated in Paris when the Penal Laws prohibited Catholic education in Ireland.

Share this entry

Share this page


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day colloquy
Pronunciation: ˈkɒləkwi
a conversation