law [ lɔ ] noun ***
▸ 1 rule or set of rules
▸ 2 profession of lawyers
▸ 3 study of rules
▸ 4 explanation of process
▸ 5 the police
1. ) count an official rule that people must obey:
The new law will be passed by the Senate in the spring.
break a law (=do something illegal): Several traffic laws had been broken.
law against: a law against shoplifting
law on: a new law on gun ownership
a ) singular or uncount a system of rules within a country, region, or community dealing with people's behavior and activities:
against the law (=illegal): It is against the law to beg on the streets of the city.
break the law (=do something illegal): The state is prepared to prosecute them for breaking the law.
obey the law: Local officials are reminding people to obey the law and not sell fireworks to children under sixteen.
by/under law (=according to the law): Any changes are required by law to be in writing.
within the law (=legal or legally): They pledged to work within the law to bring about change.
above the law (=allowed to not obey the law): No official is above the law.
become law (=be made a law): The bill could become law as soon as next year.
enforce the law (=punish people who do not obey it): It is the Attorney-General's job to enforce the law, not the White House's.
b ) uncount a set of rules within a larger system that deal with a particular subject or area:
criminal/company/constitutional law
c ) count a rule or set of principles that people follow for moral or religious reasons:
the laws of morality
2. ) uncount the profession that includes lawyers and judges:
practice law (=work as a lawyer): Anne's been practicing law for 20 years.
a ) only before noun relating to this profession, to courts, or to a legal system:
a law firm
3. ) uncount the area of knowledge or study dealing with systems of rules and the way they work:
Both of them are studying law.
a ) only before noun relating to this area of knowledge or study:
a law school/degree
4. ) count an explanation of a natural or scientific process:
the laws of physics/gravity
5. ) the law INFORMAL the police
be a law unto yourself
to refuse to behave like everyone else or to believe you can do whatever you want to
the long arm of the law HUMOROUS
used for referring to the police and their ability to catch criminals
take the law into your own hands
to punish someone in your own way without involving the police or the courts, often by doing something illegal yourself

Usage of the words and phrases in modern English. 2013.

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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

  • 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

  • Law — /law/, n. 1. Andrew Bonar /bon euhr/, 1858 1923, English statesman, born in Canada: prime minister 1922 23. 2. John, 1671 1729, Scottish financier. 3. William, 1686 1761, English clergyman and devotional writer. * * * I Discipline and profession… …   Universalium

  • 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

  • law — [lɔː ǁ lɒː] noun 1. [singular, uncountable] LAW the whole system of rules that citizens of a country must obey: • It is against the law (= illegal ) for children to work before they are fifteen. • There were easy profits for businessmen who were… …   Financial and business terms

  • Law — [From Old English lagu something laid down or fixed ; legal comes from Latin legalis , from lex law , statute ( [ searchmode=none Law] , Online Etymology Dictionary; [http://www.merriam… …   Wikipedia

  • law — W1S1 [lo: US lo:] n ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(system of rules)¦ 2¦(a rule)¦ 3 law and order 4¦(police)¦ 5¦(what always happens)¦ 6¦(study/profession)¦ 7¦(sport/activity)¦ 8 the law of the jungle 9 the law of averages 10 be a …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • LAW — bezeichnet: The Law, britische Rockband alternative Umschrift des chinesischen Familiennamens Luo Law (Texas), Stadt in Texas Law ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Alexandre Jacques Bernard Law de Lauriston (1768–1828), französischer… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Law — bezeichnet: Law (Texas), Stadt in Texas The Law, britische Rockband alternative Umschrift des chinesischen Familiennamens Luo Law ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Alexandre Jacques Bernard Law de Lauriston (1768–1828), französischer… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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