- 1 [mass noun] (often the law) The system of rules which a particular country or community recognizes as regulating the actions of its members and which it may enforce by the imposition of penalties: shooting the birds is against the law they were taken to court for breaking the law [as modifier]: law enforcementMore example sentences
- Adequate fencing of pools will be achieved only if fencing is both required by law and regulations are enforced.
- This may be enforced by law, with a clause in the legislation to set up regulation of care providers.
- We will make a change to see that justice is served and no more lives will be stolen by law enforcement.
- 1.1 [count noun] An individual rule as part of a system of law: a new law was passed to make divorce easier and simplerMore example sentences
regulation, statute, enactment, act, bill, decree, edict, rule, ruling, resolution, promulgation, measure, motion, dictum, command, order, stipulation, commandment, directive, pronouncement, ratification, proclamation, dictate, diktat, fiat, covenant, demand, by-law; North American ordinance; in Tsarist Russia ukase; in Spain & Spanish-speaking countries pronunciamento
- It is natural that these concepts should underpin the codified laws on equality before the law and fair trials.
- The law that had to be applied is the law of negligence, in essence, perhaps the laws of evidence.
- We hear the Greens urging everyone to pass all these laws, knowing that the law is unlikely to be enforced.
- 1.2Systems of law as a subject of study or as the basis of the legal profession: he was still practising law [as modifier]: a law firm law studentsMore example sentences
the legal profession, the bar, barristers and solicitors collectively
- They are not criminologists or law professors who are studying theoretical issues.
- It is important for students of law to situate the legal doctrine of the EU in its historical and political context.
- Criminal law is a subject of great complexity which students find both fascinating and frustrating.
- 1.3Statute law and the common law. Compare with equity.More example sentences
- Common law and statutory rights continue to exist alongside the Convention.
- Yet often what trial courts apply is common law - law that was made by other judges.
- The legislature has picked up these words and turned them into statutory law.
- 1.4Something regarded as having binding force or effect: he had supreme control—what he said was lawMore example sentences
- So yes, it's your story, and your word is law when it comes to deciding if your vote or the readers votes are the deciding ones
- I guess anything and everything he says is law around here…
- When I was a kid, what my parents told me was law.
- 1.5 (the law) • informal The police: he’d never been in trouble with the law in his lifeMore example sentences
the police, the officers of the law, the forces of law and order, law-enforcement officers, police officers, policemen, policewomen, the police force, the constabulary• black English • derogatory BabylonBritish • informal the (Old) Bill, the bobbies, the busies, the bizzies, the coppers, the rozzers, the force, plod, PC PlodNorth American • informal the heat• informal , • derogatory the pigs, the filth
- It doesn't take long before he's in trouble with the law but the police are prepared to do a deal with him.
- In a previous run-in with the law, police had gunned down Edward several years ago.
- 2A rule defining correct procedure or behaviour in a sport: the laws of the gameMore example sentences
- Before long the sports law will be amended to bring about fair play and equality in the voting system.
- Foul language is a problem for the law makers in every sport.
- Now out of form strikers and captains who cynically exploit the laws of the game are immune from being dropped.
- 3A statement of fact, deduced from observation, to the effect that a particular natural or scientific phenomenon always occurs if certain conditions are present: the second law of thermodynamicsMore example sentences
- Neither has the second law of thermodynamics nor the universal law of gravitation.
- The zeroth law of thermodynamics is commonly expressed as heat flowing from hot to cold objects.
- What if you could distil your own sharpest observation into a scientific law that would bear your name?
- 3.1A generalization based on a fact or event perceived to be recurrent: the first law of American corporate life is that dead wood floatsMore example sentences
- What football needs is simply sound management based on the basic laws of the market economy.
- The patterns I have been discussing in this section are of course generalizations, not iron laws.
- The other day when I was writing about the fate of mobile applications, I mentioned one of the laws of technology strategy.
- 4 [mass noun] The body of divine commandments as expressed in the Bible or other religious texts.More example sentences
- In morals Simon was probably Antinomian, an enemy of Old Testament law.
- Nowhere in Scripture is the Old Testament law divided into moral/civil and ceremonial.
- Are Christians to take all the Old Testament law as applying to them?
- 4.1 (the Law) The Pentateuch as distinct from the other parts of the Hebrew Bible (the Prophets and the Writings).More example sentences
- Moses commanded us a Law, even the inheritance of the congregation of Jacob.
- They would rather kill Jesus than violate the Law - a Law originally intended to help the people of Israel remain inside the covenant with God.
- The Torah, then, was not merely a Law written in a perishable book, or part of a covenant with the people of Israel.
- 4.2 (also the Law of Moses) The precepts of the Pentateuch.More example sentences
- The Talmud and Jewish law describe the mutual obligations of husband and wife.
- Jewish law requires every Jew to give up his life rather than desecrate the Name of Hashem in public.
- Instead he follows Jewish law for the Jews to punish them in case of crimes like theft, murders and rape or adultery.
at (or in) law
- According to or concerned with the laws of a country: an agreement enforceable at law a barrister-at-lawMore example sentences
- Does the Defendant have any ground at law for preventing the Claimant from obtaining possession?
- In sum, looking at the course of conduct, I find that there was a waiver at law of the landlord's right to forfeiture.
- The claimant has to show that the tribunal erred in law in refusing leave.
be a law unto oneself
- Behave in a manner that is not conventional or predictable: she was a law unto herself and did what she wanted to doMore example sentences
- Developers are a law unto themselves, above the normal laws of community, ruling not only local government, but state and federal governments - a very dangerous situation for us all.
- In the decades since World War II, as military leaders and monarchs smothered democratic life, the security agencies have become a law unto themselves.
- She said: ‘They're a law unto themselves and they thought it was amusing I had to give in.’
go to law
- British Resort to legal action in order to settle a matter: the process of going to law is not as simple as one may imagineMore example sentences
- Scrapping no-win no-fee deals where solicitors take up cases which previously would have been settled without going to law.
- I asked the insurance company not to pay it, but they did because it was cheaper to settle it that way rather than going to law.
- And it is even more disconcerting if two officers of the council, having gone to law and losing, now pass on the bill for this affair to the rate-payers.
law and order
- A situation characterized by respect for and obedience to the rules of a society: his forces were preparing to withdraw from the province after restoring law and orderMore example sentences
- One of the first precepts of any civilised society is respect for law and order.
- For those with no respect or regard for law and order, such rules and laws are irrelevant.
- To restore and preserve law and order, there will be 10,000 extra police on the streets.
the law of the jungle
- see jungle.
lay down the law
- Issue instructions to other people in an authoritative or dogmatic way: I am not attempting to lay down the law, but simply wish to voice my opinionMore example sentences
- She'll lay down the law on headline issues and take your calls.
- He has gone for ground rules rather than laying down the law.
- In the wake of the elections, media owners have wasted no time in laying down the law to the incoming government, demanding lower business costs and taxes.
take the law into one's own hands
- Punish someone for an offence according to one’s own ideas of justice, especially in an illegal or violent way: people have been urged to keep calm and not take the law into their own handsMore example sentences
- Otherwise, people will take the law into their own hands to fight for justice.
- It would sanction excessive conduct which allowed headstrong, violent people to take the law into their own hands in a way which no civilized society could permit.
- If anyone, it was they who could have persuaded the justice-seekers to remain calm and not to take the law into their own hands.
take someone to law
- Initiate legal proceedings against someone: he’s got to pay for it, or I’ll take him to lawMore example sentences
litigation, legal action, legal proceedings, lawsuit, justice
- The Board took them to law and won the first round in the English courts, but the owner challenged that finding in the European Court of Justice.
- In 1796 Thackeray, together with several other patent ‘pirates'’ were taken to law by Boulton and Watt and, for a while, this engine was stopped.
- We'd be thrown out of any court in the land if we took them to law.
there's no law against it
- • informal Said to assert that one is doing nothing wrong, especially in response to an actual or implied criticism: I can laugh, can’t I? There’s no law against itMore example sentences
- Calling electors - of course, there's no law against it.
- We can still be friends Andi, there's no law against it.
- I mean, it's perfectly legal, there's no law against it.
Old English lagu, from Old Norse lag 'something laid down or fixed', of Germanic origin and related to lay1.