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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.


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
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 ...
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 : ...
: incentive-based compensation that ties wage increases or bonuses to increased productivity rather than profit increases
guardian ad litem
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
gamed gam·ing : to play for a stake : gamble
: a group of persons associating for antisocial and often criminal purposes and activities
often attrib : the world of organized crime
: a member of a gang of criminals
General Accounting Office see also the Important Agencies section
gaol·er chiefly Brit var of jail jailer
: 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)
[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) ...
: a third party holding garnished property or money of a debtor
: 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
: a creditor who brings a garnishment proceeding against a garnishee
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade see also the Important Laws section
past of give
guilty but mentally ill
Gender Discrimination
: sex discrimination
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
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 ...
: acts committed with intent to partially or wholly destroy a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group ;also : the crime of committing such an act
: 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
[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 ...
: guaranteed investment contract at contract
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 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, ...
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 ...
[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 ...
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 ...
: 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.
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)
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 ...
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, ...
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 ...
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
: 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
: 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
: 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 ...
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
: one to whom a grant is made ;specif : one to whom a grant by deed is made
: 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
: 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
[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.
[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 : ...
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 ...
: one who submits a grievance for resolution through a grievance procedure and esp. for arbitration
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 ...
[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
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
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 ...
[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
: one that makes or gives a 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.
: 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
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 ...
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 ...
[Old English gylt delinquency] : the fact of having committed an offense esp. against the law [not enough evidence to establish ] compare innocence
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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