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: something (as a judicial decision) authoritatively accorded binding or controlling effect in the administration of justice
that case is no longer the law of this circuit
2 a: a body of laws
the law of a state; broadly: laws and justice considered as a general and established entity
the law looks with disfavor on restraints on alienation
b: common law compare equity 2
3 a: the control or authority of the law
maintain law 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 law see also issue of law at issue; matter of law at matter; question of law at question 2
4: the whole body of laws and doctrines relating to one subject
contract law
the law of attractive nuisance
5 a: the legal profession
practice law
b: the nature, use, and effects of laws and legal systems as an area of knowledge or society
the politics of law compare jurisprudence
at law: under or within the provisions of the law esp. as opposed to equity
a remedy at law

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

I noun act, article, body of rules, canon, charter, code, command, decree, decree absolute, dictum, enactment, established rule, expressed command, fiat, firm principle, instruction, ius, jurisprudence, legal code, lex, mandate, maxim, norm, order, ordinance, precedent, precept, prescribed form, prescription, principle, pronouncement, regula, regulation, rescript, rubric, rule, rule of conduct, set of rules, settled principle, standard, standing order, statute, tenet associated concepts: action at law, adequate remedy at law, adjective law, administrative law, allowed by law, amendatory law, antitrust laws, application of the law. appropriation law, arising under laws of the united states, at law and in equity, attorney-at-law, authorized by law, aviation law, bankruptcy law, blue sky law, breach of the law, by operation of law, change in the law, civil law, civil rights law, civil service law, color of law, color of state law, commercial law, common law, common-law marriage, common-law trust, compliance with laws, conclusion of law, constitutional law, contrary to law, controversy arising under the laws of the United States, corporate law, court of law, criminal law, declare the law, domestic relations law, due process of law, duties and liabilities imposed by law, election law, enjoined by law, entertainment law, environmental law, equal protection of the law, error of law, established by law, ex post facto, executed in accordance with law, existing laws, federal law, fixed by law, foreign laws, fundamental law, general law, governed by law, homestead law, ignorance of law, implied by law, inconsistent with law, instructions on the law, insufficient in law, insurance law, international law, issue of law, judgment founded upon a matter of law, knowledge of the law, labor law, law and equity, law enforcement, law of the case, law of the land, limited by law, local law, maritime law, martial law, matter of law, military law, mistake of law, municipal law, natural heirs at law, not in accordance with law, obligation imposed by law, omnibus law, operation of law, ordinary course of law, organic law, patent and trademark law, penal law, practice of law, preexisting law, prescribed by law, presumption of law, procedural law, process of law, prospective law, provided by law, provided by state law, question of law, question of local law, question of state law, real estate law, regulated by law, remedy at law, securities law, session laws, special law, specially prescribed by law, specific law, standing laws, state law, substantive law, sufficient as a matter of law, suits at law, supreme law, surrender by operation of law, tax law, terminate by limitation of law, under color of law, unemployment compensation law, uniform operation of laws, unwritten law, without due process of law foreign phrases:
- Ubi lex est specialist et ratio ejus generalis, generaliter accipienda est — Where the law is special, and the reason of it general, it ought to be construed generally
- Praxis judicum est interpres legum. — The practice of the judges is the interpreter of the laws.
- Lex nemini operatur iniquum, nemini facit injuriam. — The law never works an injury, or does a wrong
- Lex est norma recti. — Law is the rule of right
- Lex est sanctio sancta, Jubens honesta, et prohibens contrarla. — Law is a sacred santion, commanding that which is right, and prohibiting the contrary
- Lex est tutissima cassis; sub clypeo legis nemo decipitur. — Law is the safest helmet, under the shield of the law no one is deceived
- Lex fin git ubi subsistit aequitas. — The laws feigns where equity subsists
- Lex intendit vicinum vicini facta scire. — The law presumes that one neighbor is cognizant of the acts of his neighbor
- Non est certandum de regulis juris. — There is no disputing about rules of the law.
- Receditur a placitis juris, potius quam injuriae et delictamaneant impunita. — In order that crimes not go unpunished, the law will be departed from
- Res est misera ubi jus est vagum et incertum. — It is a sorry state of affairs when law is vague and mutable.
- Salus populi est suprema lex. — The welfare of the people is the supreme object of the law.
- a jure discedas, vagus eris, et erunt omniaomnibus incerta. — If you depart from the law, you will go astray, and everything will be in a state of uncertainty to everyone
- Ubi lex non dlstinguh, nee nos distlnguere debemus. — Where the law does not distinguish, we ought not to distinguish
- Ubi non est lex, Ibi non est transgresslo, quo ad mundum. — Where there is no law, there is no transgression, so far as worldly concerns and matters
- Firmior et potentior est operatio legis quam dlsposltio hominis. — The operation of the law is more firm and more powerful than the will of man
- Non jus ex regula, sed regula ex jure. — The law does not arise from the rule but the rule comes from the law
- Non verbis sed ipsis rebus, leges imponlmus. — We do not impose laws upon words, but upon the things themselves
- Quando abest provisio partis, adest provisio legis. — When a provision of the party is lacking, the provision of the law supplies it
- Quod naturalis ratio inter omnes homines constituit, vocatur jus gentium. — The rule which natural reason has established among all men is called the law of nations
- Ratio est legis anima; mutata legis ratione mutatur et lex. — Reason is the soul of law, the reason of law being changed, the law is also changed.
- Ratio potest allegari deficiente lege; sed ratio vera et legali set non apparens. — Where the law is deficient, the reason can be alleged, but it must be true and lawful and not merely apparent
- Non in legendo sed in intelligendo legis consistunt. — The laws consist not in being read, but in being understood
- Lex semper intendit quod convenit rationi. — The law always intends what is agreeable to reason
- Lex spectat naturae ordlnem. — The law regards the order of nature
- Lex succurrit Ignoranti. — The laws assist the ignorant
- Lex succurrit minoribus. — The law assists minors
- Melius est jus deficiens quam jus incertum. — A deficient law is better than an uncertain one
- Multa in jure communi contra rationem disputandl, procommuni utilitate introducta sunt. — Many things have been introduced into the common law, which are contrary to the public good, which are inconsistent with sound reason
- Non exemplis sed legibus judicandum est. — judgment should not be rendered from examples, but by the law
- Id possumus quod de jure possumus. — We may do only that which we are able to do lawfully.
- Idem est non probari et non esse; non deficit — /us,
- sed probatio. — What is not proved, and what is not, are the same; it is not a defect of the law, but a want of proof,
- fus civile et quod sibi populus constituit. — The civil law is that law which the people establish for themselves
- Lex prosplclt, non respicit. — The law looks forward, not backward.
- Lex reficit superflua, pugnantta, incongrua. — The law rejects those matters which are superfluous, repugnant, or incongruous.
- Lex semper dabit remedium. — The law always furnishes a remedy
- Contra legem facit qui id facit quod lex prohibit; in fraudem vero qui, saMs verbis legis, sententiam ejus circumvenit. — He who does what the law prohibits, acts in fraud of the law, the letter of the law being inviolate, cheats the spirit of it
- Les fictions naissent de la lot, et non la loi des fictions. — Fictions arise from the law, and not law from fictions.
- Legem enim contractus dat. — The contract makes the law.
- Ubi non est directa lex, standum est arbitrio judicis, vel procedendum ad similia. — Where there is no direct law, the decision of the judge is to be taken, or references to be made to similar cases
- Consuetudo ex certa causa rationabili usitata privatcommunem legem. — A custom, based on a certain and reasonable cause, supersedes the common law.
- fus vendit quod usus approbavit. — The law recommends what use or custom has approved
- La ley favour la vie dun homme. — The law favors human life
- Actus legis neminl est damnosus. — The act of the law shall prejudice no one
- Matter en ley ne serra mise in bouche del jurors. — A matter of law shall not be put into the mouth of jurors
- Equitas sequitur legem. — Equity follows the law
- Non obligat lex nisi promulgata. — A law is not obligatory unless it is promulgated
- Lex respicit aequitatem. — The law regards equity
- Ignorantia furis non excusat. — Ignorance of the law is no excuse
- Executio furis non habet infuriam. — The execution of law does no injury.
- Ignorantia excusatur, non furis sed facti. — Ignorance of fact may excuse, but not ignorance of law.
- Scire leges non hoc est verba earum tenere. sed vim ac potestatem. — To know the laws is not to observe their words alone, but their force and power.
- Perpetua lex est nullam legem humanam ab positivam perpetuamesse, et clausula quae abrogationem excludit ab initio non valet. — It is a perpetual law that no human and positive law can be perpetual, and a clause in a law which precludes the power of abrogationor repeal is void from the beginning
- Experientia per varios actus legem facit. magistra rerum experientia. — Experience by various acts makes law experience is the mistress of things
- Nemo fus sibi dicere potest. — No one can declare the law for himself. lex
- aequitate gaudet; appetit perfectum; est norma recti. — The law delights in equity, it grasps at perfection, it is a rule of right
- In fictione furis semper aequltas existit. — In a fiction of law, equity is always present.
- Optima est lex quae minimum rellnqult arbitrio judicis; optimus fudex qui minimum sibi. — That is the best system of law which leaves the least to the discretion of the judge; that judge is the best who leaves the least to his own discretion
- fus quo untversitates utuntur est idem quod habent privati. — The law which governs corporations is the same as that which governs individuals
- Ignorantia facti excusat, Ignorantia furis non excusat. — Ignorance of fact excuses, ignorance of the law does not excuse
- Regula est, furis quidem ignorantiam cuique nocere, facti vero ignorantiam non nocere. — The rule is that a person's ignorance of the law may prejudice him, but that his ignorance of fact will not.
- Per varios actus legem experientia facit. — By various acts experience makes the law
- furis affectus in executione consistit. — The effectiveness of a law lies in its execution
- Cessante ratione legis, cessat et ipsa lex. — Where the reason for a law ceases, the law itself also ceases
- Fortior et potentior est disposltio legis quam hominis. — The disposition of the law has greater force and stronger effect than that of man
- Lex non curat de minimis. — The law does not regard small matters.
- Hominum causa fus constitutum est. — Law is established for the benefit of mankind
- fudicis est fus dicere, non dare. — It is the duty of a judge to declare the law, not to make it
- Lex est dictamen rationis. — Law is the dictate of reason.
- Lex est ratio summa, quae fubet quae sunt utilia et necessaria, et contraria prohibet. — That which is law is the consummation of reason, which commands those things useful and necessary, while prohibiting the contrary
- Nemo est supra leges. — No one is above the law.
- Ubi fus incertum, ibi fus nullum. — Where the law is uncertain, there is no law
- Lex neminem cogft ad vana seu in utilia peragenda. — The law compels no one to do futile or useless things
- Ex facto fus oritur. — Law arises out of facts
- Ad quaestionem facti non respondent fudicis; ad quaestionem furis non respondent furatores. — Judges do not answer to a question of fact, jurors do not answer to a question of law.
- Constructio legis non facit infuriam. — A law properly interpreted creates no wrong
- Argumentum ab inconvenienti est validum in lege; quia lex non permittlt aliquod inconveniens. — An argument drawn from what is inconvenient is good in law, because the law will not permit any inconvenience
- Infustum est, nisi tota lege inspecta, de una aliqua efus particula proposlta fudtcare vel respondere. — It is unjust to give judgement or advice concerning any particular clause of a law without having examined the whole law.
- Culltbet licet furl pro se introducto renunclare. — Any one may waive or renounce the benefit of a principle or rule of law that exists only for his protection.
- Ignorantia legis neminem excusat. — Ignorance of law excuses no one.
- Ipsae leges cupiunt ut fure regantur. — The laws themselves are desirous of being governed by what is right.
- Exempla illustrant non restrlngunt legem. — Examples illustrate, but do not restrain, the law
- Obedientia est legis essentia. — Obedience is the essence of the law
- Consuetudo est altera lex. — Custom is another law.
- Consuetudo vincit communem legem. — Custom overrules common law.
- Consuetudo praescripta et legttima vincit legem. — A prescriptive and legitimate custom prevails over the law.
- Consuetudo et communis assue tudo vincit legem non scriptam, si sttspecialis; et interpretatur legem scriptam, si lex sit generalis. — Custom and common usage override the unwritten law, if it be special; and interpret the written law, if the law be general
- Consuetudo est optimus interpres legum. — Custom is the best interpreter of the laws.
- Conventio privatorum non potest publico furi derogare. — The agreement of private persons cannot derogate from public right
- Conventio vincit legem. — The express agreement of parties overcomes the law.
- Quamvis lex generaliter loquitur, restringenda tamen est, ut, cessante ratione, ipsa cessat. — Although a law speaks generally, yet it is to be restrained, so that when its reason fails, it should cease also
- Processus legis est gravis vexatio, executio legis coronat opus. — The process of the law is a grave vexation, the execution of the law crowns the work
- Ubi eadem ratio, ibi idem fus; et de similibus idem est fudictum. — Where there is the same reason, there is the same law; and where there are similar situations, the judgment is the same.
- Lex nil frustra facit. — The law does nothing in vain.
- Lex non deficit in fustitia exhibenda. — The law does not fail in dispensing justice
- Lex plus laudatur quando ratione probatur. — The law is most praiseworthy when it is consistent with reason.
- Ubi lex aliquem coglt ostendere causam, necesse est quod causa sit fusta et legitima. — Where the law compels a man to show cause, it is necessary that the cause be just and legal.
- Ita semper fiat relatio ut valeat dlsposhlo. — Let the interpretation be so made that the disposition stands
- Judex est lex loquens. — The judge is the law speaking; that is, he is the mouthpiece of the law
- Natura appeth perfection; ha et lex. — Nature seeks perfection, and so does the law
- A verbis legis non est recedendum. — The words of the law must not be departed from
- Apices furis non sunt jura. — Legal niceties are not law.
- Communis error factt jus. — A common error makes law.
- Casus omissus et obllvlonl datus dispositioni communis furis relinquhur. — A case omitted and forgotten is left to the disposal of the common law
- Contemporanea exposttio est optima et fortlssima in lege. — Contemporaneous exposition is the best and most powerful in the law
- Neque leges neque senatus consulta Ita scrlbi possunt ut omnis casus qui quandoque in sedlriunt comprehendatur; sed sufficit ea quae plaerumque accldunt continert. — Neither laws nor acts of a legislature can be so written as to include all actual or possible cases, it is sufficient if they provide for those things which frequently or ordinarily may happen
- fura eodem modo desthuuntur quo constttuuntur. — Laws are abrogated by the same means by which they are enacted,
- fura naturae sunt Immutabilla. — The laws of nature are unchangeable.
- Leges humanae nascuntur, vivunt, et moriuntur. — Human laws are born, live, and die
- Legibus sumptls desinentlbus, lege naturae utendum est. — When laws imposed by the state fail, the laws of nature must be invoked
- Tortura legum pesslma. — The torture or wresting of laws is the worst kind of torture.
- Leges suum llgent latore m. — Laws should bind their own proposer
- fus constltui oportet in his quae ut plurlmum accldunt non quae ex inoplnato. — Laws ought to be made with a view to those cases which occur most frequently and not to those which are of rare or accidental occurrence
- Nova constftutio futuris formam imponere debet, non praeteritis. — A new law ought to affect the future, not what is past.
- Ad ea quae frequentius accldunt fura adaptantur. — Laws are adapted to those cases which most commonly occur.
- Inde datae leges ne fortior omnia posset. — Laws were made lest the stronger might become all-powerful.
- Ex malls moribus bonae leges natae sunt. — Good laws arise from evil morals.
- Quando lex est specialis, ratio autem generalis, generaltter lex est intelligenda. — When a law is special, but its reason general, the law is to be understood generally
- Intentio inservlre debet legibus, non legesintentioni. — The intention ought to be subservient to the laws, not the laws to intentions.
- Legislatorum est viva vox, rebus etnon verbis, legem imponere. — The voice of the legislators is the living voice, to impose laws upon things, and not on words
- Optimam esse legem, quae minimum rellnquit arbltrlo fudicls; id quod certitudo efus praestat. — That law is best which leaves the least to the decision of the judge, this being an advantage which results from its certainty.
- Leges posteriores priores contrariasabrogant. — Subsequent laws repeal prior laws that are repugnant to them
- fus est ars boni et aequi. — Law is the science of what is good and just
- Nihil infra regnum subditos magis conservatin tranquilhate et concordla quam debitalegum administratio. — Nothing better preserves in tranquillity and concord those subjected to the same government better than one due administration of the laws.
- Aequum et bonum est lex legum. — That which is equitable and good is the law of laws
II index act (enactment), brevet, canon, constitution, criterion, dictate, edict, enactment, holding (ruling of a court), measure, ordinance, precept, prescription (directive), principle (axiom), regulation (rule), rubric (authoritative rule), rule (legal dictate), statute

Burton's Legal Thesaurus. . 2006

(1) A system of rules created by a society to regulate behavior and punish crimes.
(2) A statute.
(3) The professional field concerned with the rules that regulate society.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.

'every law is the invention and gift of the gods' (Demosthenes); 'laws were made that the stronger might not in all things have his own way' (Ovid); 'it would be better to have no laws at all than it is to have so many as we have' (Montaigne); 'all law has for its object to confirm and exalt in a system the exploitation of the workers by a ruling class' (Bakunin); 'the law is reason free from passion' (Aristotle). jurisprudence is the occupation and science of trying to define law.

Collins dictionary of law. . 2001.

1) Any system of regulations to govern the conduct of the people of an organization, community, society, or nation.
2) A statute, ordinance, or regulation enacted by the legislative branch of a government.
Category: Small Claims Court & Lawsuits

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

1 The complete body of statutes, rules, enforced customs and norms, and court decisions governing the relations of individuals and corporate entities to one another and to the state.
2 The subset of such statutes and other rules and materials dealing with a particular subject matter.
3 The system by which such statutes and rules are administered.
4 The profession of interpreting such statutes and rules.
5 A bill that becomes effective after enactment by the legislature and signature (or failure to veto) by the executive.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.

A body of rules of conduct of binding legal force and effect, prescribed, recognized, and enforced by controlling authority.

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.

A body of rules of conduct of binding legal force and effect, prescribed, recognized, and enforced by controlling authority.
II The combination of those rules and principles of conduct promulgated by legislative authority, derived from court decisions and established by local custom.

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

   1) any system of regulations to govern the conduct of the people of a community, society or nation, in response to the need for regularity, consistency and justice based upon collective human experience. Custom or conduct governed by the force of the local king were replaced by laws almost as soon as man learned to write. The earliest lawbook was written about 2100 B.C. for Ur-Nammu, king of Ur, a Middle Eastern city-state. Within three centuries Hammurabi, king of Babylonia, had enumerated laws of private conduct, business and legal precedents, of which 282 articles have survived. The term "eye for an eye" (or the equivalent value) is found there, as is drowning as punishment for adultery by a wife (while a husband could have slave concubines), and unequal treatment of the rich and the poor was codified here first. It took another thousand years before written law codes developed among the Greek city-states (particularly Athens) and Israel. China developed similar rules of conduct, as did Egypt. The first law system which has a direct influence on the American legal system was the codification of all classic law ordered by the Roman Emperor Justinian in 528 and completed by 534, becoming the law of the Roman empire. This is known as the Justinian Code, upon which most of the legal systems of most European nations are based to this day. The principal source of American law is the common law, which had its roots about the same time as Justinian, among Angles, Britons and later Saxons in Britain. William the Conqueror arrived in 1066 and combined the best of this Anglo-Saxon law with Norman law, which resulted in the English common law, much of which was by custom and precedent rather than by written code. The American colonies followed the English Common Law with minor variations, and the four-volume Commentaries on the Laws of England by Sir William Blackstone (completed in 1769) was the legal "bible" for all American frontier lawyers and influenced the development of state codes of law. To a great extent common law has been replaced by written statutes, and a gigantic body of such statutes have been enacted by federal and state legislatures supposedly in response to the greater complexity of modern life.
   2) n. a statute, ordinance or regulation enacted by the legislative branch of a government and signed into law, or in some nations created by decree without any democratic process. This is distinguished from "natural law," which is not based on statute, but on alleged common understanding of what is right and proper (often based on moral and religious precepts as well as common understanding of fairness and justice).
   3) n. a generic term for any body of regulations for conduct, including specialized rules (military law), moral conduct under various religions and for organizations, usually called "bylaws."

Law dictionary. . 2013.

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