lay down the law



lay down the law

  1. To promulgate law.
    • 2004, John Lierman, The New Testament Moses, page 125:
      [I]n other words, some Jews thought of Moses as the one who laid down the Law, while others saw him more as a prophet.
  2. (law, dated) To present the law that applies to a given case.
  3. (idiomatic) To authoritatively or dogmatically assert what is permitted or not permitted.
    • 1818, Sir Walter Scott, The Heart of Mid-Lothian‎, chapter 4:
      He concluded this sentence with a self-important cough, as one who has laid down the law in an indisputable manner.
    • 1908, Upton Sinclair, The Moneychangers‎, chapter 19:
      Montague could picture the grim, hawk-faced old man, sitting at the head of the council board, and laying down the law to the masters of the Metropolis.
    • 2003, Robert Ludlum; Gayle Lynds, The Altman code‎, page 357:
      Looks like the governor's laid down the law about the guards getting too lax, so we have to be damned careful.

See alsoEdit

Last modified on 19 June 2013, at 18:21