/lɔ / (say law)

1. the principles and regulations emanating from a government and applicable to a people, whether in the form of legislation or of custom and policies recognised and enforced by judicial decision.
2. any written or positive rule of conduct, or collection of rules, prescribed under the authority of the state or nation, whether by the people in its constitution, as the organic law, or by the legislature in its statute law, or by the treaty-making power, or by municipalities in their ordinances or by-laws.
3. the controlling influence of such rules; the condition of society brought about by their observance: to maintain law and order.
4. the institutions and persons collectively responsible for the administration of the legal rules, or an agent that helps maintain the rules.
5. a system or collection of such rules.
6. the department of knowledge concerned with these rules; jurisprudence: to study law.
7. the body of rules and legal principles concerned with a particular subject or derived from a particular source: commercial law; the law of torts.
8. an act of the supreme legislative body of a state or nation, as distinguished from the constitution.
9. the principles applied in the courts of common law, as distinguished from equity.
10. the profession which deals with law and legal procedure: to practise law.
11. legal action; litigation.
12. any rule or principle of proper conduct or collection of such rules.
13. Aboriginal English Aboriginal customary law.
14. (in philosophical and scientific use)
a. a statement of a relation or sequence of phenomena invariable under the same conditions.
b. a mathematical rule.
15. a commandment or a revelation from God.
16. (often upper case) a divinely appointed order or system.
17. Bible the five books of Moses (the Pentateuch) containing this system and forming the first of the three Jewish divisions of the Old Testament
18. the preceptive part of the Bible, especially of the New Testament, in contradistinction to its promises: the law of Christ.
19. Sport a start given to an animal that is to be hunted, or to a weaker competitor in a race.
20. above the law, not bound by the laws which govern other people.
21. be a law unto oneself, to do what one wishes, without regard for established rules and modes of behaviour.
22. lay down the law, to tell people authoritatively what to do, or state one's opinions authoritatively.
23. outside the law, in an illegal fashion: to operate outside the law.
24. take the law into one's own hands, to seek justice by one's own means, disregarding usual judicial procedures.
25. the law, Colloquial the police.
26. the Law, the Mosaic Law (often in contrast to the Gospel).
27. the long arm of the law,
a. the power of law-enforcing bodies to catch criminals, even after many years have elapsed.
b. Colloquial the police; a police officer.
{Middle English law, lagh, Old English lagu, from Old Norse lag layer, plural lög law, literally, that which is laid down; related to lay1, lie2}

Australian English dictionary. 2014.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • law — / lȯ/ n [Old English lagu, of Scandinavian origin] 1: a rule of conduct or action prescribed or formally recognized as binding or enforced by a controlling authority: as a: a command or provision enacted by a legislature see also statute 1 b:… …   Law dictionary

  • law, at — adj. Pertaining to law; related to the law or the legal profession. The Essential Law Dictionary. Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. Amy Hackney Blackwell. 2008 …   Law dictionary

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  • Law — (l[add]), n. [OE. lawe, laghe, AS. lagu, from the root of E. lie: akin to OS. lag, Icel. l[ o]g, Sw. lag, Dan. lov; cf. L. lex, E. legal. A law is that which is laid, set, or fixed; like statute, fr. L. statuere to make to stand. See {Lie} to be… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • Law — • By law in the widest sense is understood that exact guide, rule, or authoritative standard by which a being is moved to action or held back from it Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Law     Law …   Catholic encyclopedia

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