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FindLaw Legal Dictionary

The FindLaw Legal Dictionary -- free access to over 8260 definitions of legal terms. Search for a definition or browse our legal glossaries.



law 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
b : something (as a judicial decision) authoritatively accorded binding or controlling effect in the administration of justice [that case is no longer the of this circuit]
2 a : a body of laws [the of a state]
: laws and justice considered as a general and established entity [the looks with disfavor on restraints on alienation]
b : common law compare equity
3 a : the control or authority of the law [maintain and order]
b : one or more agents or agencies involved in enforcing laws
c : the application of a law or laws as distinct from considerations of fact [an error of ] see also issue of law at issue matter of law at matter question of law at question
4 : the whole body of laws and doctrines relating to one subject [contract ] [the of attractive nuisance]
5 a : the legal profession [practice ]
b : the nature, use, and effects of laws and legal systems as an area of knowledge or society [the politics of ] compare jurisprudence

at law
: under or within the provisions of the law esp. as opposed to equity [a remedy at law]

Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.

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