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


  • Free
    1 a : having the legal and political rights of a citizen [representatives…shall be determined by adding to the whole number of persons "U.S. Constitution art. I"] b : enjoying civil and ...
  • G Reorganization
    see reorganization
  • Gaap
    generally accepted accounting principles
  • Gag Order
    see order
  • Gag Rule
    : a law, order, or ruling that prohibits free debate or expression of ideas, information, or opinions [a long-standing Florida gag rule barring people from discussing complaints they made against ...
  • Gain
    1 : an increase in value, capital, or amount compare loss capital gain : a gain realized on the sale or exchange of a capital asset (as a stock or real estate) ca·su·al·ty gain : ...
  • Gainsharing
    : incentive-based compensation that ties wage increases or bonuses to increased productivity rather than profit increases
  • Gal
    guardian ad litem
  • Gamble
    gam·bled gam·bling vi : to risk something of value for the chance of winning a prize vt : to risk (something) for the chance of winning a prize gam·bler [-blər] n
  • Game
    gamed gam·ing : to play for a stake : gamble
  • Gang
    : a group of persons associating for antisocial and often criminal purposes and activities
  • Gangland
    often attrib : the world of organized crime
  • Gangster
    : a member of a gang of criminals
  • Gao
    General Accounting Office see also the Important Agencies section
  • Gaol
    gaol·er chiefly Brit var of jail jailer
  • Gap-Filler
    : a term supplied by a law or a court when the parties to an agreement fail to make provisions for a particular matter (as a price or a remedy for breach)
  • Garnish
    [Anglo-French garniss-, stem of garnir to garnish, give legal summons, warn, from Old French, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German warnōn to take heed] 1 : to subject (property or money) ...
  • Garnishee
    : a third party holding garnished property or money of a debtor
  • Garnishment
    : a remedial device used by a creditor to have property of the debtor or money owed to the debtor that is in the possession of a third party attached to pay the debt to the creditor ;specif : ...
  • Garnishment Of Wages
    Taking or seizing the amount owing pursuant to a child support order or other order, directly from the employee's wages
  • Garnishor
    : a creditor who brings a garnishment proceeding against a garnishee
  • Gatt
    General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade see also the Important Laws section
  • Gave
    past of give
  • Gbmi
    guilty but mentally ill
  • Gender Discrimination
    : sex discrimination
  • General
    1 : involving, applicable to, or affecting the whole 2 : involving, relating to, or applicable to every member of a class, kind, or group 3 : not confined by specialization or limitation 4 : ...
  • General Accounting Office
    (GAO) The federal government office that carries out legal, accounting, auditing and claims settlement functions with respect to federal government programs and operations, as assigned by Congress. ...
  • General Act
    : general law
  • General Administrator
    see administrator
  • General Agency
    see agency
  • General Agent
    see agent
  • General Appearance
    : a court appearance by which a party submits to the jurisdiction of the court esp. by asking for any relief other than a ruling that the court has no jurisdiction over the appearing party compare ...
  • General Assembly
    1 : a legislative assembly ;esp : a U.S. state legislature 2 cap G&A : the supreme deliberative body of the United Nations
  • General Assignment
    see assignment
  • General Benefit
    see benefit
  • General Bequest
    see bequest
  • General Contractor
    : a person or business entity that contracts to be in charge of a building project usually involving the use of subcontractors called also original contractor prime prime contractor
  • General Counsel
    : a lawyer at the head of a legal department (as of a corporation or government agency)
  • General Court
    : a legislative assembly ;specif : the state legislature in Massachusetts and New Hampshire
  • General Court-Martial
    : a court-martial consisting of a military judge and usually at least five members and having authority to impose a sentence of dishonorable discharge or death compare special court-martial, summary ...
  • General Creditor
    see creditor
  • General Damages
    see damage
  • General Demurrer
    see demurrer
  • General Denial
    see denial
  • General Deposit
    see deposit
  • General Devise
    see devise
  • General Election
    : an election usually held at regular intervals in which candidates are elected in all or most constituencies of a nation or state
  • General Finding
    see finding
  • General Intangible
    : any personal property that is not an account, chattel paper, document, instrument, goods, or money esp. as identified by section 9-106 of the Uniform Commercial Code
  • General Intent
    see intent
  • General Jurisdiction
    see jurisdiction
  • General Law
    : a law that is unrestricted as to time, is applicable throughout the entire territory subject to the power of the legislature that enacted it, and applies to all persons in the same class called ...
  • General Legacy
    see legacy
  • General Lien
    see lien
  • General Mortgage
    see mortgage
  • General Naturalization Provisions
    The basic requirements for naturalization that every applicant must meet, unless a member of a special class. General provisions require an applicant to be at least 18 years of age and a lawful ...
  • General Partner
    see partner
  • General Partnership
    see partnership
  • General Power
    see power
  • General Power Of Appointment
    see power of appointment
  • General Power Of Attorney
    see power of attorney
  • General Publication
    : communication or dissemination of a copyrightable work that implies a dedication of the work to the public or an abandonment of the copyright compare limited publication
  • General Sentence
    see sentence
  • General Sessions Court
    : a court sitting in each county seat in Tennessee and having limited jurisdiction over civil matters and some minor criminal matters
  • General Statute
    : general law
  • General Strike
    see strike
  • General Verdict
    see verdict
  • General Verdict Rule
    : a rule providing that if a jury returns a general verdict in favor of one party it is presumed to have found in favor of that party on every issue
  • General Warrant
    see warrant
  • General Welfare Clause
    often cap G&W&C : a clause in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution empowering Congress to provide for the general welfare of the United States (as through the collection of taxes)
  • Generation-Skipping Tax
    : generation-skipping transfer tax
  • Generation-Skipping Transfer
    : a transfer of property or of an interest in property that is to a person of a generation more than one generation below that of the transferor and that can be characterized as a taxable ...
  • Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax
    : a transfer tax on a generation-skipping transfer called also generation-skipping tax
  • Generation-Skipping Trust
    see trust
  • Generic
    1 : common or descriptive and not entitled to trademark protection : nonproprietary [the name of a drug] 2 : having a nonproprietary name [ drugs]
  • Generic Term
    Terms that the relevant purchasing public understands primarily as the common or class name for the goods or services. These terms are incapable of functioning as trademarks denoting source, and are ...
  • Genocide
    : acts committed with intent to partially or wholly destroy a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group ;also : the crime of committing such an act
  • Genuine
    : actually having the reputed or apparent qualities or character ;specif : free of forgery or counterfeiting see also genuine issue at issue gen·u·ine·ly adv ...
  • Genuine Issue
    see issue
  • Geographic Market
    : the geographic area in which there is effective competition in the sale of products or services used in antitrust matters
  • Gerrymander
    [Elbridge Gerry (1744-1814) + salamander; from the shape of an election district formed during Gerry's governorship of Massachusetts] 1 : the act or method of gerrymandering 2 : a district or ...
  • Gic
    : guaranteed investment contract at contract
  • Gift
    1 : an intentional and gratuitous transfer of real or personal property by a donor with legal capacity who actually or constructively delivers the property to the donee with the intent of giving up ...
  • Gift Causa Mortis
    see gift
  • Gift Inter Vivos
    see gift
  • Gift Over
    see gift
  • Gift Tax
    : an excise tax imposed on a donor for gifts of property made during the donor's lifetime see also annual exclusion, gift split gift at gift, unified transfer tax compare death tax, estate tax, ...
  • Gigabyte
    A gigabyte is a measure of electronic data storage capacity, which is approximately equal to one billion bytes. Often shortened to "gigs."
  • Ginnie Mae
    Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA); a government-owned corporation overseen by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Ginnie Mae pools FHA-insured and VA-guaranteed loans ...
  • Gist
    [Anglo-French, in the phrase laccion gist the action lies or is based (on), from gisir to lie (of process), from Old French gesir to lie, ultimately from Latin jacere] : the ground or foundation of a ...
  • Give
    gave giv·en giv·ing 1 a : to make a gift of [I the remainder of my estate to my wife] compare convey, sell b : to grant or bestow by formal action [the law s citizens the right to vote] 2 ...
  • Giveback
    : a previous gain (as an increase in wages or benefits) given back to management by workers (as in a labor contract)
  • Giving In Payment
    :dation en paiement
  • Global Debt Facility
    designed to allow investors all over the world to purchase debt (loans) of U.S. dollar and foreign currency through a variety of clearing systems.
  • Gnp
    gross national product
  • Go Forward
    went forward gone forward going forward : to proceed with a lawsuit or a matter (as the presentation of evidence) in a lawsuit
  • Going And Coming Rule
    : a rule that an employee cannot receive workers' compensation benefits for injuries suffered while coming to or going from work see also special hazard rule, special mission exception
  • Going Concern
    : a business that is in operation
  • Going Concern Value
    : the value of the assets of an enterprise or of the enterprise itself considered as an operating business and therefore based on earning power and prospects rather than on the value of the same ...
  • Going Private
    : the process of transforming a public corporation into a close corporation by terminating the registration of the corporation's stock, the listing of the stock on an exchange, or the active trading ...
  • Going Private Transaction
    : a corporate action (as a recapitalization, share repurchase, or tender offer) taken as part of going private
  • Golden Parachute
    : an agreement providing for generous compensation to an executive upon dismissal (as because of a merger)
  • Good
    bet·ter best 1 : commercially sound or reliable [a risk] 2 a : valid or effectual under the law b : free of defects 3 a : characterized by honesty and fairness b : conforming to a standard ...
  • Good Cause
    see cause
  • Good Consideration
    see consideration
  • Good Faith
    [translation of Latin bona fides] : honesty, fairness, and lawfulness of purpose : absence of any intent to defraud, act maliciously, or take unfair advantage [filed the suit in good faith] ...
  • Good Faith Estimate
    an estimate of all closing fees including pre-paid and escrow items as well as lender charges; must be given to the borrower within three days after submission of a loan application.
  • Good Faith Exception
    : an exception to the exclusionary rule: evidence obtained by the use of a warrant later found to be unsupported by probable cause is admissible if the investigating officers acted in reasonable ...
  • Good Faith Purchaser
    : a purchaser who gives value for an asset in good faith and without knowledge of adverse claims called also good faith purchaser for value
  • Good Samaritan
    [from the good Samaritan in the New Testament parable (Luke 10:30-37)] : one who voluntarily renders aid to another in distress although under no duty to do so
  • Good Samaritan Law
    : a law providing immunity from liability to a good samaritan (as an off-duty physician) whose negligent administration of aid causes injury
  • Good Time
    : a deduction for good behavior made from a convict's term of imprisonment
  • Good Title
    see title
  • Goods And Chattels
    : personal property of any kind but sometimes limited to tangible property
  • Goods And Services
    Goods are products. In the context of service marks, a service (1) must be a real activity; (2) must be performed to the order of, or for the benefit of, someone other than the applicant; and (3) the ...
  • Goodwill
    1 : an intangible asset that is made up of the favor or prestige which a business has acquired beyond the mere value of what it sells due to the personality or experience of those conducting it, ...
  • Govern
    1 : to exercise continuous sovereign authority over ;esp : to control and direct the administration of policy in 2 : to exert a determining or guiding influence in or over [the testator's assets ...
  • Government
    1 : the act or process of governing ;specif : authoritative direction or control 2 : the office, authority, or function of governing 3 : the continuous exercise of authority over and the ...
  • Government Corporation
    see corporation
  • Government Security
    see security
  • Governmental Immunity
    see immunity
  • Governor
    : one that governs: as a : one that exercises authority esp. over an area or group b : an official elected or appointed to act as ruler, chief executive, or nominal head of a political unit ...
  • Gr
  • Grace
    1 : a special favor : privilege [considered by many authorities to be a matter of and not of right "The Mentally Disabled and the Law"] 2 a : a temporary exemption b : the prerogative of mercy ...
  • Grace Period
    : a period of time beyond a scheduled date during which a required action (as payment of an obligation) may be taken without incurring the ordinarily resulting adverse consequences (as penalty or ...
  • Graduated
    of a tax : increasing in rate with increase in taxable base : progressive
  • Graduated Payment Mortgages
    mortgages that begin with lower monthly payments that get slowly larger over a period of years, eventually reaching a fixed level and remaining there for the life of the loan. Graduated payment loans ...
  • Grand
    : of, relating to, or being a crime involving the theft of money or property valued at over a set amount [convicted of embezzlement] see also grand larceny at larceny grand theft at theft compare ...
  • Grand Juror
    : a member of a grand jury
  • Grand Jury
    : a jury that examines accusations against persons charged with crime and if the evidence warrants makes formal charges on which the accused persons are later tried see also no bill and true bill at ...
  • Grand Larceny
    see larceny
  • Grand Theft
    see theft
  • Grandfather
    : to permit to continue under a grandfather clause [current residents will be ed under the regulation] often used with in
  • Grandfather Clause
    : a clause creating an exemption (as from a law or regulation) based on circumstances previously existing ;specif : a provision inserted in the constitutions of some southern states after the Civil ...
  • Grant
    1 : to permit as a right or privilege [ a new trial] [the Supreme Court ed certiorari] 2 : to bestow or transfer formally ;specif : to transfer the possession or title of by a deed : convey
  • Grantee
    : one to whom a grant is made ;specif : one to whom a grant by deed is made
  • Grantor
    : one that makes a grant: as a : one that conveys property or a right in property by deed b : settlor c : one (as an organization) that provides aid in the form of grants (as for education)
  • Grantor Trust
    see trust
  • Gratuitous
    : not involving a return benefit, compensation, or consideration compare onerous gra·tu·i·tous·ly adv
  • Gratuitous Bailment
    see bailment
  • Gratuitous Contract
    see contract
  • Gratuitous Promise
    see promise
  • Gravamen
    [Medieval Latin, from Late Latin, burden, from Latin gravare to burden, from gravis heavy, grave] : gist
  • Gray Market
    : a market employing irregular but not illegal methods ;esp : a market that legally circumvents authorized channels of distribution to sell goods at prices lower than those intended by the ...
  • Great Bodily Injury
    : physical injury suffered by the victim of a violent crime that causes a substantial risk of death, extended loss or impairment of a body part or function, or permanent disfigurement : physical ...
  • Great Writ
    : habeas corpus ad subjiciendum at habeas corpus used with the
  • Green Card
    [from the fact that it was formerly colored green] : an identity card attesting the permanent resident status of an alien in the U.S.
  • Greenmail
    [green (money) + -mail (as in blackmail)] : the practice of buying enough of a company's stock to threaten a hostile takeover and reselling it to the company at a price above market value ;also : ...
  • Grievance
    1 : a cause of distress (as an unsatisfactory working condition or unfair labor practice) felt to afford a reason for complaint or dispute ;esp : a violation of a collective bargaining agreement ...
  • Grievance Arbitration
    see arbitration
  • Grievance Committee
    : a committee formed by a labor union or by employer and employees jointly to discuss and where possible eliminate grievances
  • Grievance Procedure
    : the several stages or steps established for the resolution of grievances NOTE: A grievance procedure typically calls for initial complaints to a supervisor and leads ultimately to arbitration as a ...
  • Grievant
    : one who submits a grievance for resolution through a grievance procedure and esp. for arbitration
  • Grieve
    grieved griev·ing vt : to submit (a grievance) to a grievance procedure [wage claims…had been contractually grieved "M. A. Kelly"] vi : to bring a grievance under a grievance procedure ...
  • Gross
    [Middle English, immediately obvious, from Middle French gros thick, coarse, from Latin grossus] 1 : flagrant or extreme esp. in badness or offensiveness : of very blameworthy character [a violation ...
  • Gross Estate
    see estate
  • Gross Income
    : all income derived from any source except for items specifically excluded by law NOTE: Section 61 of the Internal Revenue Code lists fifteen nonexclusive items that should be included in gross ...
  • Gross National Product
    : the total value of the goods and services produced by the residents of a nation during a specified period (as a year)
  • Gross Negligence
    see negligence
  • Gross Profit
    Net sales minus the cost of goods sold
  • Gross Receipts
    : the total amount of value in money or other consideration received by a taxpayer in a given period for goods sold or services performed
  • Ground
    1 : the foundation or basis on which knowledge, belief, or conviction rests : a premise, reason, or collection of data upon which something (as a legal action or argument) relies for validity [sued ...
  • Ground Lease
    see lease
  • Ground Rent
    1 : the rent paid by a lessee for the use of land esp. for building 2 : a rent charge reserved to himself or herself or his or her heirs by the grantor of land in fee simple, on perpetual lease, or ...
  • Group Annuity
    see annuity
  • Group Boycott
    : an agreed-upon refusal by competitors to deal with another business unless it refrains from dealing with a potential competitor trying to enter the market
  • Group Insurance
    : insurance issued upon a group of persons under a single or blanket insurance policy
  • Growth Company
    see company
  • Growth Fund
    see fund
  • Growth Stock
    see stock
  • Gse
    abbreviation for government sponsored enterprises; a collection of financial services corporations formed by the United States Congress to reduce interest rates for farmers and homeowners. Examples ...
  • Guarantee
    [probably alteration of guaranty] 1 : guarantor 2 : guaranty 3 : an assurance that a condition will be fulfilled: as a : an agreement by which one person undertakes to secure another in the ...
  • Guaranteed Bond
    see bond
  • Guaranteed Investment Contract
    see contract
  • Guarantor
    : one that makes or gives a guaranty
  • Guaranty
    pl: -ties [Old French garantie, from garantir to guarantee, from garant warrant] 1 : a pledge to pay another's debt or to perform another's duty in case of the other's default or inadequate ...
  • Guaranty Fee
    payment to FannieMae from a lender for the assurance of timely principal and interest payments to MBS (Mortgage Backed Security) security holders.
  • Guardian
    : one who has or is entitled or legally appointed to the care and management of the person or property of another compare committee, conservator, curator, receiver, tutor guardian ad li·tem ...
  • Guardian Ad Litem
    see guardian
  • Guardian By Nature
    see guardian
  • Guardianship
    A legal arrangement under which one person (a guardian) has the legal right and duty to care for another (the ward) and his or her property. A guardianship is established because of the ward's ...
  • Guest Statute
    : a statute that prevents non-paying passengers from suing the driver or owner of a car for accidental injuries except in cases of gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct called also ...
  • Gui
    Acronym for Graphical User Interface. A GUI is the graphical user interface to a computer, and its elements include such things as: windows, icons, buttons, cursors and scroll bars. For example, this ...
  • Guilt
    [Old English gylt delinquency] : the fact of having committed an offense esp. against the law [not enough evidence to establish ] compare innocence
  • Guilty
    guilt·i·er -est 1 : having committed a crime : justly charged with a specified crime [ of larceny] 2 : involving guilt or culpability[ knowledge]
  • Guilty But Mentally Ill
    : a verdict available in some jurisdictions in cases involving an insanity defense in which the defendant is considered as if having been found guilty but is committed to a mental hospital rather ...
  • Guilty Plea
    a criminal defendant's admission to the court that he or she committed the offense he or she is charged with and his or her agreement to waive the right to trial. If the court accepts the plea, the ...
  • Guilty Verdict
    a verdict convicting a criminal defendant of a charge or charges. When a verdict of guilty is returned, the court orders a presentence investigation of the defendant and sets a sentencing date.

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