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See also: Law

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EnglishEdit

 
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PronunciationEdit

Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English lawe, laȝe, from Old English lagu (law), from Old Norse *lagu, an early plural form of lag, lǫg (layer, stratum, a laying in order, measure, stroke, law, literally something laid down or fixed), from Proto-Germanic *lagą (that which is laid down), from Proto-Indo-European *legʰ- (to lie). Cognate with Icelandic lög (things laid down, law), Swedish lag (law), Danish lov (law). Replaced Old English ǣ and ġesetnes. More at lay.

NounEdit

law (countable and uncountable, plural laws)

  1. The body of binding rules and regulations, customs, and standards established in a community by its legislative and judicial authorities.
    the courts interpret the law; entrapment is against the law
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 22, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      Not unnaturally, “Auntie” took this communication in bad part. [] Next day she [] tried to recover her ward by the hair of the head. Then, thwarted, the wretched creature went to the police for help; she was versed in the law, and had perhaps spared no pains to keep on good terms with the local constabulary.
    1. The body of such rules that pertain to a particular topic.
      property law; commercial hunting and fishing law
    2. Common law, as contrasted with equity.
  2. A binding regulation or custom established in a community in this way.
    There is a law against importing wallabies.   A new law forbids driving on that road.   The court ruled that the executive order was not law and nullified it.
    • 1915, George A. Birmingham, “chapter I”, in Gossamer (Project Gutenberg; EBook #24394), London: Methuen & Co., published 8 January 2013 (Project Gutenberg version), OCLC 558189256:
      As a political system democracy seems to me extraordinarily foolish, []. My servant is, so far as I am concerned, welcome to as many votes as he can get. [] I do not suppose that it matters much in reality whether laws are made by dukes or cornerboys, but I like, as far as possible, to associate with gentlemen in private life.
  3. (more generally) A rule, such as:
    1. Any rule that must or should be obeyed, concerning behaviours and their consequences. (Compare mores.)
      "Do unto others as you wish them to do unto you" is a good law to follow.   the law of self-preservation
    2. A rule or principle regarding the construction of language or art.
      the laws of playwriting and poetry
      • 1997, Derek Prince, If you Want God's Best (ISBN 1603747540):
        The normal pronoun to use with "spirit" would be "it." But Jesus breaks the law of grammar and says not "when it," but "when he."
    3. A statement (in physics, etc) of an (observed, established) order or sequence or relationship of phenomena which is invariable under certain conditions. (Compare theory.)
      the laws of thermodynamics
      Newton's third law of motion states that to every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction. This is one of several laws derived from his general theory expounded in the Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica.
    4. (mathematics, logic) A statement (of relation) that is true under specified conditions; a mathematical or logical rule.
      Mathematical laws can be proved purely through mathematics, without scientific experimentation.
    5. Any statement of the relation of acts and conditions to their consequences.
      the law of scarcity; the law of supply and demand
    6. (cricket) One of the official rules of cricket as codified by the its (former) governing body, the MCC.
  4. The control and order brought about by the observance of such rules.
    They worked to maintain law and order.   It was a territory without law, marked by violence.
  5. (uncountable, informal) A person or group that act(s) with authority to uphold such rules and order (for example, one or more police officers).
    Here comes the law — run!
  6. The profession that deals with such rules (as lawyers, judges, police officers, etc).
    He is studying for a career in law.   She has practiced law in New York for twenty years.
  7. Jurisprudence, the field of knowledge which encompasses these rules.
    She went to university to study law.
  8. Litigation, legal action (as a means of maintaining or restoring order, redressing wrongs, etc).
    They were quick to go to law.
  9. (now uncommon) An allowance of distance or time (a head start) given to a weaker (human or animal) competitor in a race, to make the race more fair.
    • 1889, Thomas Hughes, Tom Brown at Rugby, page 150:
      After a few minutes' waiting, two well-known runners, chosen for the hares, buckled on the four bags filled with scent, compared their watches with those of young Brooke and Thome, and started off at a long, slinging trot across the fields in the direction of Barby. Then the hounds clustered round Thome, who explained shortly, "They're to have six minutes' law."
  10. (fantasy) One of two metaphysical forces ruling the world in some fantasy settings, also called order, and opposed to chaos.
  11. (Can we verify(+) this sense?) An oath, as in the presence of a court. See wager of law.
    • 1793, Richard Wooddeson, A Systematical View of the Laws of England, page 169:
      As to the depriving the defendant of waging his law, it was thought, the practice merited discouragement, as a temptation to perjury.
    • 1846, Matthew Bacon, ‎Sir Henry Gwilliam, ‎& Charles Edward Dodd, A New Abridgment of the Law with Large Additions and Corrections:
      But, before the defendant takes the oath, the plaintiff is called by the crier thrice; and if he do not appear he becomes nonsuited, and then the defendant goes quit without taking his oath; and if he appear, and the defendant swear that he owes the plaintiff nothing, and the compurgators give it upon oath, that they believe he swears true, the plaintiff is barred for ever; for when a person has waged his law, it is as much as if a verdict had passed against the plaintiff; if the plaintiff do not appear to hear the defendant perform his law, so that he is nonsuit, he is not barred, but may bring a new action.
    • 2013, William Paley Baildon, Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefield: Volume 2 , 1297 to 1309, ISBN 1108058620, page ix:
      A withdrawal from a wager of law was an admission of the point as to which the law was waged; the defaulter also incurred a fine (i, 297).
Derived termsEdit
TranslationsEdit
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

VerbEdit

law (third-person singular simple present laws, present participle lawing, simple past and past participle lawed)

  1. (transitive, intransitive, chiefly dialectal) To prosecute or sue (someone), to litigate.
    • 1860, George Eliot (Mary Anne Lewes), The Mill on the Floss:
      Your husband's [...] so given to lawing, they say. I doubt he'll leave you poorly off when he dies.
    • 1886, Charles Dudley Warner, Their Pilgrimage, page 144:
      "I like folks to be up and down and square," she began saying, as she vigilantly watched the effect of her culinary skill upon the awed little party. "Yes, I've got a regular hotel license; you bet I have. There's been folks lawed in this town for sellin' a meal of victuals and not having one."
    • 2014, Joseph Andrew Orser, The Lives of Chang and Eng: Siam's Twins in Nineteenth-Century America:
      “So I said to her, 'Well, no man ever made anything lawing with his wife, so, if your mind is set on having a divorce and the children you will want plenty to raise them with,' so I deed her the farm in Sumner county and everything on it—horses, mules, machinery, everything.”
  2. (nonstandard) To rule over (with a certain effect) by law.
    • 1939, Henry Green Hodges, City management: theory and practice of municipal administration:
      At its 1933 session, the Kansas legislature provided for funding outstanding bills and floating debts of those cities which could not make payment by a fixed date. By this stroke of its imagination, the legislature lawed all Kansas cities onto a "cash" basis and admonished them to stay there.
    • 2007, Henry Grenryk Ledesma, The Little Book: The Sound of the Seventh Trumpet, page 38:
      So that, when GOD said, “Let there be light:” Behold the first created light burst out unto its glory (here GOD lawed the power of heat, fire, light, melting, cooling, and freezing)

See alsoEdit

Etymology 2Edit

From Old English hlāw (burial mound). Also spelled low.

NounEdit

law (plural laws)

  1. (obsolete) A tumulus of stones.
  2. (Scotland and Northern England, archaic) A hill.
    • 1892, Robert Louis Stevenson, Across the Plains
      You might climb the Law [...] and behold the face of many counties.

Etymology 3Edit

Compare la.

InterjectionEdit

law

  1. (dated) An exclamation of mild surprise; lawks.

ReferencesEdit

Etymology in ODS

AnagramsEdit


Lower SorbianEdit

 
lawy

EtymologyEdit

From Proto-Slavic *lьvъ, from Proto-Indo-European *lewo-.

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

law m (diminutive lawk, feminine equivalent lawowka)

  1. lion (Panthera leo)

DeclensionEdit

Derived termsEdit


ScotsEdit

NounEdit

law (plural laws)

  1. law
  2. rounded hill (usually conical, frequently isolated or conspicuous)

Sranan TongoEdit

VerbEdit

law

  1. To be crazy

Upper SorbianEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Proto-Slavic *lьvъ, from Proto-Indo-European *lewo-.

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

law m

  1. lion (Panthera leo)

DeclensionEdit

Derived termsEdit


WelshEdit

NounEdit

law

  1. Soft mutation of glaw (rain).

MutationEdit

Welsh mutation
radical soft nasal aspirate
glaw law nglaw unchanged
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

NounEdit

law

  1. Soft mutation of llaw (hand).

MutationEdit

Welsh mutation
radical soft nasal aspirate
llaw law unchanged unchanged
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.