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LAW

Pronunciation (US): 

 Dictionary entry overview: What does law mean? 

LAW (noun)
  The noun LAW has 7 senses:

1. legal document setting forth rules governing a particular kind of activity
2. the collection of rules imposed by authority
3. a generalization that describes recurring facts or events in nature
4. a rule or body of rules of conduct inherent in human nature and essential to or binding upon human society
5. the learned profession that is mastered by graduate study in a law school and that is responsible for the judicial system
6. the force of policemen and officers
7. the branch of philosophy concerned with the law and the principles that lead courts to make the decisions they do

  Familiarity information: LAW used as a noun is common.


 Dictionary entry details 


LAW (noun)


Sense 1law [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Legal document setting forth rules governing a particular kind of activity

Classified under:

Nouns denoting communicative processes and contents

Context example:

there is a law against kidnapping

Hypernyms ("law" is a kind of...):

instrument; legal document; legal instrument; official document ((law) a document that states some contractual relationship or grants some right)

Domain category:

jurisprudence; law (the collection of rules imposed by authority)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "law"):

prohibition (a law forbidding the sale of alcoholic beverages)

Riot Act (a former English law requiring mobs to disperse after a magistrate reads the law to them)

poor law (a law providing support for the poor)

homestead law (a law conferring privileges on owners of homesteads)

gag law (any law that limits freedom of the press)

blue sky law (a state law regulating the sale of securities in an attempt to control the sale of securities in fraudulent enterprises)

blue law (a statute regulating work on Sundays)

public law (a law affecting the public at large)

anti-drug law (a law forbidding the sale or use of narcotic drugs)

anti-racketeering law; Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act; RICO; RICO Act (law intended to eradicate organized crime by establishing strong sanctions and forfeiture provisions)

antitrust law; antitrust legislation (law intended to promote free competition in the market place by outlawing monopolies)

statute of limitations (a statute prescribing the time period during which legal action can be taken)

constitution; fundamental law; organic law (law determining the fundamental political principles of a government)

Holonyms ("law" is a part of...):

jurisprudence; law (the collection of rules imposed by authority)


Sense 2law [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

The collection of rules imposed by authority

Classified under:

Nouns denoting groupings of people or objects

Synonyms:

jurisprudence; law

Context examples:

civilization presupposes respect for the law / the great problem for jurisprudence to allow freedom while enforcing order

Hypernyms ("law" is a kind of...):

accumulation; aggregation; assemblage; collection (several things grouped together or considered as a whole)

Meronyms (parts of "law"):

law (legal document setting forth rules governing a particular kind of activity)

Domain member category:

dissent ((law) the difference of one judge's opinion from that of the majority)

discovery ((law) compulsory pretrial disclosure of documents relevant to a case; enables one side in a litigation to elicit information from the other side concerning the facts in the case)

judicial admission; stipulation ((law) an agreement or concession made by parties in a judicial proceeding (or by their attorneys) relating to the business before the court; must be in writing unless they are part of the court record)

allegation ((law) a formal accusation against somebody (often in a court of law))

subornation of perjury ((law) inducing someone to make a false oath as part of a judicial proceeding)

combination in restraint of trade ((law) any monopoly or contract or combination or conspiracy intended to restrain commerce (which are illegal according to antitrust laws of the United States))

law firm (a firm of lawyers)

Conservative Judaism (Jews who keep some of the requirements of the Mosaic law but allow for adaptation of other requirements (as some of the dietary laws) to fit modern circumstances)

bar; legal community; legal profession (the body of individuals qualified to practice law in a particular jurisdiction)

Department of Justice; DoJ; Justice; Justice Department (the United States federal department responsible for enforcing federal laws (including the enforcement of all civil rights legislation); created in 1870)

BJA; Bureau of Justice Assistance (the bureau in the Department of Justice that assists local criminal justice systems to reduce or prevent crime and violence and drug abuse)

FBI; Federal Bureau of Investigation (a federal law enforcement agency that is the principal investigative arm of the Department of Justice)

circuit court of appeals (one of the twelve federal United States courts of appeals that cover a group of states known as a 'circuit')

circuit ((law) a judicial division of a state or the United States (so-called because originally judges traveled and held court in different locations); one of the twelve groups of states in the United States that is covered by a particular circuit court of appeals)

military court (a judicial court of commissioned officers for the discipline and punishment of military personnel)

moot court (a mock court where law students argue hypothetical cases)

demur; demurral; demurrer ((law) a formal objection to an opponent's pleadings)

disclaimer ((law) a voluntary repudiation of a person's legal claim to something)

verification ((law) an affidavit attached to a statement confirming the truth of that statement)

subornation (perjured testimony that someone was persuaded to give)

alibi ((law) a defense by an accused person purporting to show that he or she could not have committed the crime in question)

caveat ((law) a formal notice filed with a court or officer to suspend a proceeding until filer is given a hearing)

jactitation ((law) a false boast that can harm others; especially a false claim to be married to someone (formerly actionable at law))

dictum; obiter dictum (an opinion voiced by a judge on a point of law not directly bearing on the case in question and therefore not binding)

written agreement (a legal document summarizing the agreement between parties)

matter of law; question of law (a disputed legal contention that is generally left for a judge to decide)

sidebar ((law) a courtroom conference between the lawyers and the judge that is held out of the jury's hearing)

pretrial; pretrial conference ((law) a conference held before the trial begins to bring the parties together to outline discovery proceedings and to define the issues to be tried; more useful in civil than in criminal cases)

arbitration ((law) the hearing and determination of a dispute by an impartial referee agreed to by both parties (often used to settle disputes between labor and management))

citation ((law) the act of citing (as of spoken words or written passages or legal precedents etc.))

deposition ((law) a pretrial interrogation of a witness; usually conducted in a lawyer's office)

cross-examination ((law) close questioning of a hostile witness in a court of law to discredit or throw a new light on the testimony already provided in direct examination)

direct examination ((law) the initial questioning of a witness by the party that called the witness)

redirect examination; reexamination ((law) questioning of a witness by the party that called the witness after that witness has been subject to cross-examination)

affidavit (written declaration made under oath; a written statement sworn to be true before someone legally authorized to administer an oath)

night court (a criminal court (in large cities) that sits at night)

admiralty law; marine law; maritime law (the branch of international law that deals with territorial and international waters or with shipping or with ocean fishery etc.)

law of the land (a phrase used in the Magna Carta to refer to the then established law of the kingdom (as distinct from Roman or civil law); today it refers to fundamental principles of justice commensurate with due process)

martial law (the body of law imposed by the military over civilian affairs (usually in time of war or civil crisis); overrides civil law)

commercial law; law merchant; mercantile law (the body of rules applied to commercial transactions; derived from the practices of traders rather than from jurisprudence)

military law (the body of laws and rules of conduct administered by military courts for the discipline, trial, and punishment of military personnel)

statutory law (the body of laws created by legislative statutes)

securities law (the body of laws governing the issuance and selling of securities)

tax law (the body of laws governing taxation)

domicile; legal residence ((law) the residence where you have your permanent home or principal establishment and to where, whenever you are absent, you intend to return; every person is compelled to have one and only one domicile at a time)

defendant; suspect (a person or institution against whom an action is brought in a court of law; the person being sued or accused)

advocate; counsel; counsellor; counselor; counselor-at-law; pleader (a lawyer who pleads cases in court)

amicus curiae; friend of the court (an adviser to the court on some matter of law who is not a party to the case; usually someone who wants to influence the outcome of a lawsuit involving matters of wide public interest)

assignee ((law) the party to whom something is assigned (e.g., someone to whom a right or property is legally transferred))

assignor ((law) the party who makes an assignment)

attorney general (the chief law officer of a country or state)

barrister (a British lawyer who speaks in the higher courts of law)

international law; law of nations (the body of laws governing relations between nations)

case law; common law; precedent (a system of jurisprudence based on judicial precedents rather than statutory laws)

civil law (the body of laws established by a state or nation for its own regulation)

provost court (a military court for trying people charged with minor offenses in an occupied area)

police court (a court that has power to prosecute for minor offenses and to bind over for trial in a superior court anyone accused serious offenses)

probate court (a court having jurisdiction over the probate of wills and the administration of estates)

quarter sessions (a local court with criminal jurisdiction and sometimes administrative functions)

superior court (any court that has jurisdiction above an inferior court)

Supreme Court; Supreme Court of the United States; United States Supreme Court (the highest federal court in the United States; has final appellate jurisdiction and has jurisdiction over all other courts in the nation)

high court; state supreme court; supreme court (the highest court in most states of the United States)

traffic court (a court that has power to prosecute for traffic offences)

trial court (the first court before which the facts of a case are decided)

judicial branch (the branch of the United States government responsible for the administration of justice)

panel; venire ((law) a group of people summoned for jury service (from whom a jury will be chosen))

grand jury (a jury to inquire into accusations of crime and to evaluate the grounds for indictments)

hung jury (a jury that is unable to agree on a verdict (the result is a mistrial))

petit jury; petty jury (a jury of 12 to determine the facts and decide the issue in civil or criminal proceedings)

blue ribbon jury; special jury (a jury whose members are selected for special knowledge for a case involving complicated issues)

administrative law (the body of rules and regulations and orders and decisions created by administrative agencies of government)

chief justice (the judge who presides over a supreme court)

attestation (the action of bearing witness)

execution; execution of instrument ((law) the completion of a legal instrument (such as a contract or deed) by signing it (and perhaps sealing and delivering it) so that it becomes legally binding and enforceable)

citation (a summons that commands the appearance of a party at a proceeding)

monition; process of monition (a summons issued after the filing of a libel or claim directing all parties concerned to show cause why the judgment asked for should not be granted)

ticket (a summons issued to an offender (especially to someone who violates a traffic regulation))

bill of Particulars (the particular events to be dealt with in a criminal trial; advises the defendant and the court of the facts the defendant will be required to meet)

pleading ((law) a statement in legal and logical form stating something on behalf of a party to a legal proceeding)

affirmative pleading (any defensive pleading that affirms facts rather than merely denying the facts alleged by the plaintiff)

alternative pleading; pleading in the alternative (a pleading that alleges facts so separate that it is difficult to determine which facts the person intends to rely on)

answer (the principle pleading by the defendant in response to plaintiff's complaint; in criminal law it consists of the defendant's plea of 'guilty' or 'not guilty' (or nolo contendere); in civil law it must contain denials of all allegations in the plaintiff's complaint that the defendant hopes to controvert and it can contain affirmative defenses or counterclaims)

evasive answer ((law) an answer by a defendant that fails to admit or deny the allegations set forth in the complaint)

plea ((law) a defendant's answer by a factual matter (as distinguished from a demurrer))

counterplea (a plaintiff's reply to a defendant's plea)

dilatory plea (a plea that delays the action without settling the cause of action; it can challenge the jurisdiction or claim disability of the defendant etc. (such defenses are usually raised in the defendant's answer))

libel (the written statement of a plaintiff explaining the cause of action (the defamation) and any relief he seeks)

defective pleading (any pleading that fails to conform in form or substance to minimum standards of accuracy or sufficiency)

demurrer ((law) any pleading that attacks the legal sufficiency of the opponent's pleadings)

rebuttal; rebutter ((law) a pleading by the defendant in reply to a plaintiff's surrejoinder)

interdict; interdiction (a court order prohibiting a party from doing a certain activity)

garnishment (a court order to an employer to withhold all or part of an employee's wages and to send the money to the court or to the person who won a lawsuit against the employee)

gag order (a court order restricting information or comment by the participants involved in a lawsuit)

habeas corpus; writ of habeas corpus (a writ ordering a prisoner to be brought before a judge)

venire facias (a judicial writ ordering a sheriff to summon people for jury duty)

mandamus; writ of mandamus (an extraordinary writ commanding an official to perform a ministerial act that the law recognizes as an absolute duty and not a matter for the official's discretion; used only when all other judicial remedies fail)

attachment (a writ authorizing the seizure of property that may be needed for the payment of a judgment in a judicial proceeding)

fieri facias (a writ ordering a levy on the belongings of a debtor to satisfy the debt)

scire facias (a judicial writ based on some record and requiring the party against whom it is brought to show cause why the record should not be enforced or annulled)

sequestration (a writ that authorizes the seizure of property)

writ of detinue (a writ ordering the release of goods that have been unlawfully detained)

writ of election (a writ ordering the holding of an election)

writ of error (a judicial writ from an appellate court ordering the court of record to produce the records of trial)

writ of prohibition (a judicial writ from a higher court ordering a lower court not to exercise jurisdiction in a particular case)

writ of right (a writ ordering that land be restored to its rightful owner)

authorisation; authorization; mandate (a document giving an official instruction or command)

process; summons (a writ issued by authority of law; usually compels the defendant's attendance in a civil suit; failure to appear results in a default judgment against the defendant)

subpoena; subpoena ad testificandum (a writ issued by court authority to compel the attendance of a witness at a judicial proceeding; disobedience may be punishable as a contempt of court)

subpoena duces tecum (a writ issued by a court at the request of one of the parties to a suit; it requires a witness to bring to court or to a deposition any relevant documents under the witness's control)

replication ((law) a pleading made by a plaintiff in reply to the defendant's plea or answer)

rejoinder ((law) a pleading made by a defendant in response to the plaintiff's replication)

First Amendment (an amendment to the Constitution of the United States guaranteeing the right of free expression; includes freedom of assembly and freedom of the press and freedom of religion and freedom of speech)

Fifth Amendment (an amendment to the Constitution of the United States that imposes restrictions on the government's prosecution of persons accused of crimes; mandates due process of law and prohibits self-incrimination and double jeopardy; requires just compensation if private property is taken for public use)

Fourteenth Amendment (an amendment to the Constitution of the United States adopted in 1868; extends the guarantees of the Bill of Rights to the states as well as to the federal government)

Eighteenth Amendment (an amendment to the Constitution of the United States adopted in 1920; prohibited the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages; repealed in 1932)

Twentieth Amendment (an amendment to the Constitution of the United States adopted in 1920; guarantees that no state can deny the right to vote on the basis of sex)

cause of action (a claim sufficient to demand judicial attention; the facts that give rise to right of action)

submission ((law) a contention presented by a lawyer to a judge or jury as part of the case he is arguing)

evidence ((law) all the means by which any alleged matter of fact whose truth is investigated at judicial trial is established or disproved)

testimony (a solemn statement made under oath)

corpus delicti (the body of evidence that constitute the offence; the objective proof that a crime has been committed (sometimes mistakenly thought to refer to the body of a homicide victim))

direct evidence (evidence (usually the testimony of a witness) directly related to the fact in dispute)

res gestae (rule of evidence that covers words that are so closely associated with an occurrence that the words are considered part of the occurrence and as such their report does not violate the hearsay rule)

circumstantial evidence; indirect evidence (evidence providing only a basis for inference about the fact in dispute)

corroborating evidence (additional evidence or evidence of different kind that supports a proof already offered in a proceeding)

hearsay evidence (evidence based on what someone has told the witness and not of direct knowledge)

state's evidence (evidence for the prosecution in criminal proceedings)

Bill of Rights (a statement of fundamental rights and privileges (especially the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution))

libel (a false and malicious publication printed for the purpose of defaming a living person)

connivance; secret approval; tacit consent ((law) tacit approval of someone's wrongdoing)

special pleading ((law) a pleading that alleges new facts in avoidance of the opposing allegations)

surrebuttal; surrebutter ((law) a pleading by the plaintiff in reply to the defendant's rebutter)

surrejoinder ((law) a pleading by the plaintiff in reply to the defendant's rejoinder)

plea bargain; plea bargaining ((criminal law) a negotiation in which the defendant agrees to enter a plea of guilty to a lesser charge and the prosecutor agrees to drop a more serious charge)

legislative act; statute (an act passed by a legislative body)

enabling act; enabling clause (a provision in a law that confers on appropriate officials the power to implement or enforce the law)

ordinance (a statute enacted by a city government)

special act (a legislative act that applies only to a particular person or particular district)

rule of evidence ((law) a rule of law whereby any alleged matter of fact that is submitted for investigation at a judicial trial is established or disproved)

legal code (a code of laws adopted by a state or nation)

penal code (the legal code governing crimes and their punishment)

U. S. Code; United States Code (a consolidation and codification by subject matter of the general and permanent laws of the United States; is prepared and published by a unit of the United States House of Representatives)

building code (set of standards established and enforced by local government for the structural safety of buildings)

fire code (set of standards established and enforced by government for fire prevention and safety in case of fire as in fire escapes etc)

health code; sanitary code (set of standards established and enforced by government for health requirements as in plumbing etc)

specification ((patent law) a document drawn up by the applicant for a patent of invention that provides an explicit and detailed description of the nature and use of an invention)

declaration ((law) unsworn statement that can be admitted in evidence in a legal transaction)

contractor ((law) a party to a contract)

marital status (the condition of being married or unmarried)

get off (cause to be acquitted; get off the hook; in a legal case)

pardon (grant a pardon to)

amnesty (grant a pardon to (a group of people))

extenuate; mitigate; palliate (lessen or to try to lessen the seriousness or extent of)

convict (find or declare guilty)

reconvict (convict anew)

condemn; doom; sentence (pronounce a sentence on (somebody) in a court of law)

capacitate (make legally capable or qualify in law)

recuse (disqualify oneself (as a judge) in a particular case)

file; register (record in a public office or in a court of law)

docket (make a summary or abstract of a legal document and inscribe it in a list)

docket (place on the docket for legal action)

verify (attach or append a legal verification to (a pleading or petition))

attest; bear witness; take the stand; testify (give testimony in a court of law)

bear witness; evidence; prove; show; testify (provide evidence for)

plead (make an allegation in an action or other legal proceeding, especially answer the previous pleading of the other party by denying facts therein stated or by alleging new facts)

challenge; take exception (raise a formal objection in a court of law)

vouch in (summon into court to defend a lawsuit against another and to be made liable to pay any judgment secured for the plaintiff)

re-examine (question after cross-examination by opposing counsel)

marriage; matrimony; spousal relationship; union; wedlock (the state of being a married couple voluntarily joined for life (or until divorce))

bigamy (having two spouses at the same time)

civil union (a voluntary union for life (or until divorce) of adult parties of the same sex)

common-law marriage (a marriage relationship created by agreement and cohabitation rather than by ceremony)

rule of law (a state of order in which events conform to the law)

legal representation (personal representation that has legal status)

diplomatic immunity (exemption from taxation or normal processes of law that is offered to diplomatic personnel in a foreign country)

limitation ((law) a time period after which suits cannot be brought)

republish (revive (a cancelled will or a libel))

attorn (acknowledge a new land owner as one's landlord)

prove (obtain probate of)

recuse (challenge or except to a judge as being incompetent or interested, in canon and civil law)

filiate (fix the paternity of)

charge (instruct (a jury) about the law, its application, and the weighing of evidence)

plead (enter a plea, as in courts of law)

plea-bargain (agree to plead guilty in return for a lesser charge)

demur (enter a demurrer)

counterclaim (set up a claim in opposition to a previous claim)

fungible (of goods or commodities; freely exchangeable for or replaceable by another of like nature or kind in the satisfaction of an obligation)

ancestral; hereditary; patrimonial; transmissible (inherited or inheritable by established rules (usually legal rules) of descent)

intra vires (within the legal power or authority or a person or official or body etc)

ultra vires (beyond the legal power or authority of a person or official or body etc)

major (of full legal age)

minor; nonaged; underage (not of legal age)

covert ((of a wife) being under the protection of her husband)

moot (of no legal significance (as having been previously decided))

testate (having made a legally valid will before death)

intestate (having made no legally valid will before death or not disposed of by a legal will)

null; void (lacking any legal or binding force)

evidentiary (pertaining to or constituting evidence)

appellant; appellate (of or relating to or taking account of appeals (usually legal appeals))

residuary (entitled to the residue of an estate (after payment of debts and specific gifts))

reversionary (of or relating to or involving a reversion (especially a legal reversion))

therefor ((in formal usage, especially legal usage) for that or for it)

revertible (to be returned to the former owner or that owner's heirs)

consensual (existing by consent)

unqualified (lacking specific legal qualifications)

give (accord by verdict)

convey (transmit a title or property)

render; submit (make over as a return)

prefer (give preference to one creditor over another)

probate (establish the legal validity of (wills and other documents))

bail out (free on bail)

gaol; immure; imprison; incarcerate; jail; jug; lag; put away; put behind bars; remand (lock up or confine, in or as in a jail)

bind over (order a defendant to be placed in custody pending the outcome of a proceedings against him or her)

aggrieve (infringe on the rights of)

adjective; procedural (relating to court practice and procedure as opposed to the principles of law)

essential; substantive (defining rights and duties as opposed to giving the rules by which rights and duties are established)

alienable (transferable to another owner)

undue (not appropriate or proper (or even legal) in the circumstances)

alterable ((of the punishment ordered by a court) capable of being changed to one less severe)

unalterable (of a sentence; that cannot be changed)

qualified (legally qualified)

scienter (deliberately or knowingly)

citizenship (the status of a citizen with rights and duties)

conveyancer (a lawyer who specializes in the business of conveying properties)

owner; proprietor ((law) someone who owns (is legal possessor of) a business)

legal assistant; paralegal (a person with specialized training who assists lawyers)

party (a person involved in legal proceedings)

complainant; plaintiff (a person who brings an action in a court of law)

prevailing party (the party in a lawsuit who obtains a judgment in their own favor)

promulgator ((law) one who promulgates laws (announces a law as a way of putting it into execution))

prosecuting attorney; prosecuting officer; prosecutor; public prosecutor (a government official who conducts criminal prosecutions on behalf of the state)

public defender (a lawyer who represents indigent defendants at public expense)

referee (an attorney appointed by a court to investigate and report on a case)

reversioner ((law) a party who is entitled to an estate in reversion)

Richard Roe (an unknown or fictitious party to legal proceedings)

solicitor (a British lawyer who gives legal advice and prepares legal documents)

transferee ((law) someone to whom a title or property is conveyed)

transferor ((law) someone who conveys a title or property to another)

trial attorney; trial lawyer (a lawyer who specializes in defending clients before a court of law)

trial judge (a judge in a trial court)

ordinary (a judge of a probate court)

notary; notary public (someone legally empowered to witness signatures and certify a document's validity and to take depositions)

next friend ((law) a person who acts on behalf of an infant or disabled person)

client (a person who seeks the advice of a lawyer)

defense attorney; defense lawyer (the lawyer representing the defendant)

divorce lawyer (a lawyer specializing in actions for divorce or annulment)

filer (a party who files a notice with a law court)

intervenor ((law) a party who interposes in a pending proceeding)

Jane Doe (an unknown or fictitious woman who is a party to legal proceedings)

John Doe (an unknown or fictitious man who is a party to legal proceedings)

judge advocate general (the senior legal advisor to a branch of the military)

jurist; legal expert (a legal scholar versed in civil law or the law of nations)

justice of the peace (a local magistrate with limited powers)

lawgiver; lawmaker (a maker of laws; someone who gives a code of laws)

attorney; lawyer (a professional person authorized to practice law; conducts lawsuits or gives legal advice)

legal representative (a personal representative with legal standing (as by power of attorney or the executor of a will))

legislator (someone who makes or enacts laws)

liquidator; receiver ((law) a person (usually appointed by a court of law) who liquidates assets or preserves them for the benefit of affected parties)

litigant; litigator ((law) a party to a lawsuit; someone involved in litigation)

trier (one (as a judge) who examines and settles a case)

legal guardian; trustee (a person (or institution) to whom legal title to property is entrusted to use for another's benefit)

reversion ((law) an interest in an estate that reverts to the grantor (or his heirs) at the end of some period (e.g., the death of the grantee))

escheat (a reversion to the state (as the ultimate owner of property) in the absence of legal heirs)

recognisance; recognizance ((law) a security entered into before a court with a condition to perform some act required by law; on failure to perform that act a sum is forfeited)

record (a document that can serve as legal evidence of a transaction)

legal relation (a professional relation that is regulated by law (as between a lawyer and a client))

fiduciary relation (the legal relation that exists when one person justifiably places reliance on another whose aid or protection is sought in some matter)

bank-depositor relation (the responsibility of a bank to act in the best interests of the depositors)

confidential adviser-advisee relation (the responsibility of a confidential adviser to act in the best interest of the advisee)

conservator-ward relation (the responsibility of a conservator to act in the best interests of the ward)

director-stockholder relation (the responsibility of corporate directors to act in the best interests of stockholders)

executor-heir relation (the responsibility of an executor (or administrator) of an estate to act in the best interests of the heir)

attorney-client relation; lawyer-client relation (the responsibility of a lawyer to act in the best interests of the client)

partner relation (the responsibility of partners to act in one another's best interests)

receiver-creditor relation (the responsibility of receiver or trustee in bankruptcy to act in the best interests of the creditor)

trustee-beneficiary relation (the responsibility of a trustee to act in the best interests of the beneficiary)

legal status (a status defined by law)

legal fee (a fee paid for legal service)

exemplary damages; punitive damages; smart money ((law) compensation in excess of actual damages (a form of punishment awarded in cases of malicious or willful misconduct))

nominal damages ((law) a trivial sum (usually $1.00) awarded as recognition that a legal injury was sustained (as for technical violations of a contract))

ux; uxor ((legal terminology) the Latin word for wife)

vouchee ((law) a person called into court to defend a title)

attestant; attestator; attestor; witness ((law) a person who attests to the genuineness of a document or signature by adding their own signature)

witness ((law) a person who testifies under oath in a court of law)

estate for life; life estate ((law) an estate whose duration is limited to the life of the person holding it)

assignment; grant ((law) a transfer of property by deed of conveyance)

heritage; inheritance (that which is inherited; a title or property or estate that passes by law to the heir on the death of the owner)

accretion ((law) an increase in a beneficiary's share in an estate (as when a co-beneficiary dies or fails to meet some condition or rejects the inheritance))

bequest; legacy ((law) a gift of personal property by will)

devise ((law) a gift of real property by will)

jointure; legal jointure ((law) an estate secured to a prospective wife as a marriage settlement in lieu of a dower)

heirloom ((law) any property that is considered by law or custom as inseparable from an inheritance is inherited with that inheritance)

interest; stake ((law) a right or legal share of something; a financial involvement with something)

vested interest ((law) an interest in which there is a fixed right to present or future enjoyment and that can be conveyed to another)

relief ((law) redress awarded by a court)

actual damages; compensatory damages; general damages ((law) compensation for losses that can readily be proven to have occurred and for which the injured party has the right to be compensated)

civil death (the legal status of a person who is alive but who has been deprived of the rights and privileges of a citizen or a member of society; the legal status of one sentenced to life imprisonment)

vexatious litigation (litigation shown to have been instituted maliciously and without probable cause)

false verdict (a manifestly unjust verdict; not true to the evidence)

general verdict (an ordinary verdict declaring which party prevails without any special findings of fact)

quotient verdict (an improper and unacceptable kind of compromise verdict)

special verdict (a verdict rendered on certain specific factual issues posed by the court without finding for one party or the other)

acquittal (a judgment of not guilty)

murder conviction (conviction for murder)

rape conviction (conviction for rape)

robbery conviction (conviction for robbery)

dispossession; eviction; legal ouster (the expulsion of someone (such as a tenant) from the possession of land by process of law)

ouster (a wrongful dispossession)

actual eviction (the physical ouster of a tenant from the leased premises; the tenant is relieved of any further duty to pay rent)

constructive eviction; eviction (action by a landlord that compels a tenant to leave the premises (as by rendering the premises unfit for occupancy); no physical expulsion or legal process is involved)

retaliatory eviction (an eviction in reprisal for the tenant's good-faith complaints against the landlord; illegal in many states)

legalisation; legalization; legitimation (the act of making lawful)

legitimation (the act of rendering a person legitimate)

trial ((law) legal proceedings consisting of the judicial examination of issues by a competent tribunal)

directed verdict (a verdict entered by the court in a jury trial without consideration by the jury)

compromise verdict (a verdict resulting from improper compromises between jurors on material issues)

conclusion of law; finding of law (a finding as to the applicability of a rule of law to particular facts)

notification; presentment (an accusation of crime made by a grand jury on its own initiative)

naturalisation; naturalization (the proceeding whereby a foreigner is granted citizenship)

judgement; judgment; judicial decision ((law) the determination by a court of competent jurisdiction on matters submitted to it)

cognovit judgement; cognovit judgment; confession of judgement; confession of judgment (a judgment entered after a written confession by the debtor without the expense of ordinary legal proceedings)

default judgement; default judgment; judgement by default; judgment by default (a judgment entered in favor of the plaintiff when the defendant defaults (fails to appear in court))

non pros; non prosequitur (a judgment entered in favor of the defendant when the plaintiff has not continued his action (e.g., has not appeared in court))

final decision; final judgment (a judgment disposing of the case before the court; after the judgment (or an appeal from it) is rendered all that remains is to enforce the judgment)

judgement in personam; judgment in personam; personal judgement; personal judgment (a judgment rendered against an individual (or corporation) for the payment of money damages)

judgement in rem; judgment in rem (a judgment pronounced on the status of some particular subject or property or thing (as opposed to one pronounced on persons))

dismissal; judgement of dismissal; judgment of dismissal (a judgment disposing of the matter without a trial)

judgement on the merits; judgment on the merits (judgment rendered through analysis and adjudication of the factual issues presented)

judgement on the pleadings; judgment on the pleadings; summary judgement; summary judgment (a judgment rendered by the court prior to a verdict because no material issue of fact exists and one party or the other is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law)

opinion; ruling (the reason for a court's judgment (as opposed to the decision itself))

Bakke decision (a ruling by the Supreme Court on affirmative action; the Court ruled in 1978 that medical schools are entitled to consider race as a factor in their admission policy)

finding (the decision of a court on issues of fact or law)

finding of fact; verdict ((law) the findings of a jury on issues of fact submitted to it for decision; can be used in formulating a judgment)

trial ((law) the determination of a person's innocence or guilt by due process of law)

Scopes trial (a highly publicized trial in 1925 when John Thomas Scopes violated a Tennessee state law by teaching evolution in high school; Scopes was prosecuted by William Jennings Bryan and defended by Clarence Darrow; Scopes was convicted but the verdict was later reversed)

annulment; invalidation ((law) a formal termination (of a relationship or a judicial proceeding etc))

dissolution of marriage (an annulment of a marriage)

amnesty; free pardon; pardon (the formal act of liberating someone)

spoliation ((law) the intentional destruction of a document or an alteration of it that destroys its value as evidence)

permissive waste; waste ((law) reduction in the value of an estate caused by act or neglect)

parole ((law) a conditional release from imprisonment that entitles the person to serve the remainder of the sentence outside the prison as long as the terms of release are complied with)

probation ((law) a way of dealing with offenders without imprisoning them; a defendant found guilty of a crime is released by the court without imprisonment subject to conditions imposed by the court)

reprieve; respite (the act of reprieving; postponing or remitting punishment)

bar ((law) a railing that encloses the part of the courtroom where the judges and lawyers sit and the case is tried)

bench ((law) the seat for judges in a courtroom)

court; courtroom (a room in which a lawcourt sits)

courthouse (a building that houses judicial courts)

dock (an enclosure in a court of law where the defendant sits during the trial)

messuage ((law) a dwelling house and its adjacent buildings and the adjacent land used by the household)

color of law; colour of law (a mere semblance of legal right; something done with the apparent authority of law but actually in contravention of law)

effect; force ((of a law) having legal validity)

drug war (conflict between law enforcement and those who deal in illegal drugs)

condemnation ((law) the act of condemning (as land forfeited for public use) or judging to be unfit for use (as a food product or an unsafe building))

legal separation; separation ((law) the cessation of cohabitation of man and wife (either by mutual agreement or under a court order))

review ((law) a judicial reexamination of the proceedings of a court (especially by an appellate court))

judicial review (review by a court of law of actions of a government official or entity or of some other legally appointed person or body or the review by an appellate court of the decision of a trial court)

plea (an answer indicating why a suit should be dismissed)

double jeopardy (the prosecution of a defendant for a criminal offense for which he has already been tried; prohibited in the fifth amendment to the United States Constitution)

criminal prosecution; prosecution (the institution and conduct of legal proceedings against a defendant for criminal behavior)

test case; test suit (a representative legal action whose outcome is likely to become a precedent)

defence; defense; demurrer; denial (a defendant's answer or plea denying the truth of the charges against him)

entrapment (a defense that claims the defendant would not have broken the law if not tricked into doing it by law enforcement officials)

mistrial (a trial that is invalid or inconclusive)

retrial (a new trial in which issues already litigated and to which the court has already rendered a verdict or decision are reexamined by the same court; occurs when the initial trial is found to have been improper or unfair due to procedural errors)

hearing ((law) a proceeding (usually by a court) where evidence is taken for the purpose of determining an issue of fact and reaching a decision based on that evidence)

administrative hearing (a hearing that takes place outside the judicial process before hearing examiners who have been granted judicial authority specifically for the purpose of conducting such hearings)

competence hearing (a hearing to determine legal capacity (to determine whether the defendant can understand the charges and cooperate with a lawyer in preparing a defense))

fair hearing (a hearing that is granted in extraordinary situations where the normal judicial process would be inadequate to secure due process because the person would be harmed or denied their rights before a judicial remedy became available (as in deportation or loss of welfare benefits))

quo warranto (a hearing to determine by what authority someone has an office or franchise or liberty)

divorce; divorcement (the legal dissolution of a marriage)

infection ((international law) illegality that taints or contaminates a ship or cargo rendering it liable to seizure)

custody battle (litigation to settle custody of the children of a divorced couple)

impounding; impoundment; internment; poundage (placing private property in the custody of an officer of the law)

barratry (the offence of vexatiously persisting in inciting lawsuits and quarrels)

champerty (an unethical agreement between an attorney and client that the attorney would sue and pay the costs of the client's suit in return for a portion of the damages awarded)

criminal maintenance; maintenance (the unauthorized interference in a legal action by a person having no interest in it (as by helping one party with money or otherwise to continue the action) so as to obstruct justice or promote unnecessary litigation or unsettle the peace of the community)

false pretence; false pretense ((law) an offense involving intent to defraud and false representation and obtaining property as a result of that misrepresentation)

resisting arrest (physical efforts to oppose a lawful arrest; the resistance is classified as assault and battery upon the person of the police officer attempting to make the arrest)

sedition (an illegal action inciting resistance to lawful authority and tending to cause the disruption or overthrow of the government)

sex crime; sex offense; sexual abuse; sexual assault (a statutory offense that provides that it is a crime to knowingly cause another person to engage in an unwanted sexual act by force or threat)

kidnapping; snatch ((law) the unlawful act of capturing and carrying away a person against their will and holding them in false imprisonment)

actual possession ((law) immediate and direct physical control over property)

constructive possession ((law) having the power and intention to have and control property but without direct control or actual presence upon it)

criminal possession ((law) possession for which criminal sanctions are provided because the property may not lawfully be possessed or may not be possessed under certain circumstances)

intervention ((law) a proceeding that permits a person to enter into a lawsuit already in progress; admission of person not an original party to the suit so that person can protect some right or interest that is allegedly affected by the proceedings)

objection ((law) a procedure whereby a party to a suit says that a particular line of questioning or a particular witness or a piece of evidence or other matter is improper and should not be continued and asks the court to rule on its impropriety or illegality)

recusation ((law) an objection grounded on the judge's relationship to one of the parties)

debarment (the act of prevention by legal means)

recusal; recusation ((law) the disqualification of a judge or jury by reason of prejudice or conflict of interest; a judge can be recused by objections of either party or judges can disqualify themselves)

neglect of duty ((law) breach of a duty)

criminal negligence; culpable negligence ((law) recklessly acting without reasonable caution and putting another person at risk of injury or death (or failing to do something with the same consequences))

contributory negligence ((law) behavior by the plaintiff that contributes to the harm resulting from the defendant's negligence)

award; awarding (a grant made by a law court)

appointment ((law) the act of disposing of property by virtue of the power of appointment)

remission; remit; remitment ((law) the act of remitting (especially the referral of a law case to another court))

novation ((law) the replacement of one obligation by another by mutual agreement of both parties; usually the replacement of one of the original parties to a contract with the consent of the remaining party)

subrogation ((law) the act of substituting of one creditor for another)

disbarment (the act of expelling a lawyer from the practice of law)

derogation ((law) the partial taking away of the effectiveness of a law; a partial repeal or abolition of a law)

recission; rescission ((law) the act of rescinding; the cancellation of a contract and the return of the parties to the positions they would have had if the contract had not been made)

abatement of a nuisance; nuisance abatement ((law) the removal or termination or destruction of something that has been found to be a nuisance)

production ((law) the act of exhibiting in a court of law)

law; practice of law (the learned profession that is mastered by graduate study in a law school and that is responsible for the judicial system)

law practice (the practice of law)

civil wrong; tort ((law) any wrongdoing for which an action for damages may be brought)

delinquency; juvenile delinquency (an antisocial misdeed in violation of the law by a minor)

comparative negligence ((law) negligence allocated between the plaintiff and the defendant with a corresponding reduction in damages paid to the plaintiff)

concurrent negligence ((law) negligence of two of more persons acting independently; the plaintiff may sue both together or separately)

alienation ((law) the voluntary and absolute transfer of title and possession of real property from one person to another)

lawmaking; legislating; legislation (the act of making or enacting laws)

class action; class-action suit (a lawsuit brought by a representative member of a large group of people on behalf of all members of the group)

countersuit (a suit brought against someone who has sued you)

criminal suit (a lawsuit alleging violations of criminal law by the defendant)

moot (a hypothetical case that law students argue as an exercise)

bastardy proceeding; paternity suit (a lawsuit filed to determine the father of a child born out of wedlock (and to provide for the support of the child once paternity is determined))

antitrust case (a legal action brought against parties who are charged with limiting free competition in the market place)

counterclaim (a claim filed in opposition to another claim in a legal action)

custody case (a legal action to determine custody (usually of children following a divorce))

lis pendens (a pending lawsuit)

legal proceeding; proceeding; proceedings ((law) the institution of a sequence of steps by which legal judgments are invoked)

adoption (a legal proceeding that creates a parent-child relation between persons not related by blood; the adopted child is entitled to all privileges belonging to a natural child of the adoptive parents (including the right to inherit))

appeal ((law) a legal proceeding in which the appellant resorts to a higher court for the purpose of obtaining a review of a lower court decision and a reversal of the lower court's judgment or the granting of a new trial)

reversal (a judgment by a higher court that the judgment of a lower court was incorrect and should be set aside)

affirmation (a judgment by a higher court that the judgment of a lower court was correct and should stand)

bankruptcy (a legal process intended to insure equality among the creditors of a corporation declared to be insolvent)

receivership (a court action that places property under the control of a receiver during litigation so that it can be preserved for the benefit of all)

civil suit (a lawsuit alleging violations of civil law by the defendant)

case; causa; cause; lawsuit; suit (a comprehensive term for any proceeding in a court of law whereby an individual seeks a legal remedy)

action; action at law; legal action (a judicial proceeding brought by one party against another; one party prosecutes another for a wrong done or for protection of a right or for prevention of a wrong)

trust busting ((law) government activities seeking to dissolve corporate trusts and monopolies (especially under the United States antitrust laws))

enactment; passage (the passing of a law by a legislative body)

law enforcement (insuring obedience to the laws)

legal duty (acts which the law requires be done or forborne)

judicature; justice (the administration of law; the act of determining rights and assigning rewards or punishments)

false imprisonment ((law) confinement without legal authority)

imprisonment (putting someone in prison or in jail as lawful punishment)

commutation; re-sentencing ((law) the reduction in severity of a punishment imposed by law)

contempt (a willful disobedience to or disrespect for the authority of a court or legislative body)

contempt of Congress (deliberate obstruction of the operation of the federal legislative branch)

contempt of court (disrespect for the rules of a court of law)

civil contempt (a failure to follow a court order that benefits someone else)

contumacy (willful refusal to appear before a court or comply with a court order; can result in a finding of contempt of court)

criminal contempt (an act of disrespect that impedes the administration of justice)

obstruction of justice (impeding those who seek justice in a court (as by trying to influence or intimidate any juror or witness or officer of the court); can result in a finding of contempt of court)

due process; due process of law ((law) the administration of justice according to established rules and principles; based on the principle that a person cannot be deprived of life or liberty or property without appropriate legal procedures and safeguards)

judicial proceeding; litigation (a legal proceeding in a court; a judicial contest to determine and enforce legal rights)

antitrust law; antitrust legislation (law intended to promote free competition in the market place by outlawing monopolies)

homestead law (a law conferring privileges on owners of homesteads)

poor law (a law providing support for the poor)

Riot Act (a former English law requiring mobs to disperse after a magistrate reads the law to them)

criminal law (the body of law dealing with crimes and their punishment)

court order (a writ issued by a court of law requiring a person to do something or to refrain from doing something)

decree; edict; fiat; order; rescript (a legally binding command or decision entered on the court record (as if issued by a court or judge))

consent decree (an agreement between two parties that is sanctioned by the court; for example, a company might agree to stop certain questionable practices without admitting guilt)

curfew (an order that after a specific time certain activities (as being outside on the streets) are prohibited)

decree nisi (a decree issued on a first petition for divorce; becomes absolute at some later date)

divestiture (an order to an offending party to rid itself of property; it has the purpose of depriving the defendant of the gains of wrongful behavior)

judicial separation; legal separation (a judicial decree regulating the rights and responsibilities of a married couple living apart)

prohibition (a law forbidding the sale of alcoholic beverages)

stay (a judicial order forbidding some action until an event occurs or the order is lifted)

stay of execution (an order whereby a judgment is precluded from being executed for a specific period of time)

cease and desist order; enjoining; enjoinment; injunction ((law) a judicial remedy issued in order to prohibit a party from doing or continuing to do a certain activity)

mandatory injunction (injunction requiring the performance of some specific act)

game law (a regulation intended to manage or preserve game animals)

gag law (any law that limits freedom of the press)

blue sky law (a state law regulating the sale of securities in an attempt to control the sale of securities in fraudulent enterprises)

statute of limitations (a statute prescribing the time period during which legal action can be taken)

constitution; fundamental law; organic law (law determining the fundamental political principles of a government)

Constitution of the United States; United States Constitution (the constitution written at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787 and subsequently ratified by the original thirteen states)

public law (a law affecting the public at large)

legislation; statute law (law enacted by a legislative body)

enabling legislation (legislation that gives appropriate officials the authority to implement or enforce the law)

federal job safety law; occupational safety and health act (a law passed by the United States Congress that created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to prevent employees from being injured or contracting diseases in the course of their employment)

advice and consent (a legal expression in the United States Constitution that allows the Senate to constrain the President's powers of appointment and treaty-making)

statute book (a record of the whole body of legislation in a given jurisdiction)

bill; measure (a statute in draft before it becomes law)

appropriation bill (a legislative act proposing to authorize the expenditure of public funds for a specified purpose)

bill of attainder (a legislative act finding a person guilty of treason or felony without a trial)

bottle bill (a statute that would require merchants to reclaim used bottles)

farm bill (a statute that would regulate farm production and prices)

trade bill (a statute that would regulate foreign trade)

blue law (a statute regulating work on Sundays)

final injunction; permanent injunction (injunction issued on completion of a trial)

interlocutory injunction; temporary injunction (injunction issued during a trial to maintain the status quo or preserve the subject matter of the litigation until the trial is over)

arrest warrant; bench warrant (a warrant authorizing law enforcement officials to apprehend an offender and bring that person to court)

death warrant (a warrant to execute the death sentence)

cachet; lettre de cachet (a warrant formerly issued by a French king who could warrant imprisonment or death in a signed letter under his seal)

reprieve (a warrant granting postponement (usually to postpone the execution of the death sentence))

commutation (a warrant substituting a lesser punishment for a greater one)

licence; license; permit (a legal document giving official permission to do something)

letters patent; patent (an official document granting a right or privilege)

judgement; judgment; legal opinion; opinion (the legal document stating the reasons for a judicial decision)

concurring opinion (an opinion that agrees with the court's disposition of the case but is written to express a particular judge's reasoning)

dissenting opinion (an opinion that disagrees with the court's disposition of the case)

majority opinion (the opinion joined by a majority of the court (generally known simply as 'the opinion'))

amnesty; pardon (a warrant granting release from punishment for an offense)

acquittance; release (a legal document evidencing the discharge of a debt or obligation)

judicial writ; writ ((law) a legal document issued by a court or judicial officer)

assize (an ancient writ issued by a court of assize to the sheriff for the recovery of property)

certiorari; writ of certiorari (a common law writ issued by a superior court to one of inferior jurisdiction demanding the record of a particular case)

search warrant (a warrant authorizing law enforcement officials to search for objects or people involved in the commission of a crime and to produce them in court; the warrant describes the locations where the officials may search)

warrant (a writ from a court commanding police to perform specified acts)

muniments (deeds and other documentary evidence of title to land)

brief; legal brief (a document stating the facts and points of law of a client's case)

amicus curiae brief (a brief presented by someone interested in influencing the outcome of a lawsuit but who is not a party to it)

testament; will (a legal document declaring a person's wishes regarding the disposal of their property when they die)

probate; probate will (a judicial certificate saying that a will is genuine and conferring on the executors the power to administer the estate)

codicil (a supplement to a will; a testamentary instrument intended to alter an already executed will)

living will (a document written by someone still legally capable requesting that they should be allowed to die if subsequently severely disabled or suffering terminal illness)

deed; deed of conveyance; title (a legal document signed and sealed and delivered to effect a transfer of property and to show the legal right to possess it)

assignment (the instrument by which a claim or right or interest or property is transferred from one person to another)

bill of sale (a deed transferring personal property)

deed poll (a deed made and executed by only one party)

enfeoffment (under the feudal system, the deed by which a person was given land in exchange for a pledge of service)

mortgage deed (deed embodying a mortgage)

title deed (a legal document proving a person's right to property)

deed of trust; trust deed (a written instrument legally conveying property to a trustee often used to secure an obligation such as a mortgage or promissory note)

conveyance (document effecting a property transfer)

quitclaim; quitclaim deed (document transferring title or right or claim to another)

execution; writ of execution (a routine court order that attempts to enforce the judgment that has been granted to a plaintiff by authorizing a sheriff to carry it out)

anti-racketeering law; Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act; RICO; RICO Act (law intended to eradicate organized crime by establishing strong sanctions and forfeiture provisions)

advowson (the right in English law of presenting a nominee to a vacant ecclesiastical benefice)

freedom from cruel and unusual punishment (a right guaranteed by the 8th amendment to the US constitution)

freedom from involuntary servitude (a civil right guaranteed by the 13th amendment to the US constitution)

equal protection of the laws (a right guaranteed by the 14th amendment to the US constitution and by the due-process clause of the 5th amendment)

right to vote; suffrage; vote (a legal right guaranteed by the 15th amendment to the US constitution; guaranteed to women by the 19th amendment)

freedom from discrimination (immunity from discrimination on the basis of race or sex or nationality or religion or age; guaranteed by federal laws of the United States)

equal opportunity (the right to equivalent opportunities for employment regardless of race or color or sex or national origin)

eminent domain (the right of the state to take private property for public use; the Fifth Amendment that was added to the Constitution of the United States requires that just compensation be made)

enfranchisement; franchise (a statutory right or privilege granted to a person or group by a government (especially the rights of citizenship and the right to vote))

patent right (the right granted by a patent; especially the exclusive right to an invention)

right of election (in probate law: the legal right of a surviving spouse to elect to take either what the deceased spouse gave under the will or the share of the estate as set forth by statute)

right of entry (the legal right to take possession of real estate in a peaceable manner)

right of re-entry (the legal right to resume possession (a right that was reserved when a former possession was parted with))

right of offset ((banking) the legal right of a bank to seize deposited funds to cover a loan that is in default)

right of privacy (a legal right (not explicitly provided in the United States Constitution) to be left alone; the right to live life free from unwarranted publicity)

enjoyment; use ((law) the exercise of the legal right to enjoy the benefits of owning property)

usufruct (a legal right to use and derive profit from property belonging to someone else provided that the property itself is not injured in any way)

right to confront accusors (a right guaranteed by the 6th amendment to the US constitution)

right to an attorney (a civil right guaranteed by the 6th amendment to the US constitution)

right to speedy and public trial by jury (a civil right guaranteed by the 6th amendment to the United States constitution)

human right ((law) any basic right or freedom to which all human beings are entitled and in whose exercise a government may not interfere (including rights to life and liberty as well as freedom of thought and expression and equality before the law))

easement ((law) the privilege of using something that is not your own (as using another's land as a right of way to your own land))

privilege ((law) the right to refuse to divulge information obtained in a confidential relationship)

entitlement (right granted by law or contract (especially a right to benefits))

civil right (right or rights belonging to a person by reason of citizenship including especially the fundamental freedoms and privileges guaranteed by the 13th and 14th amendments and subsequent acts of Congress including the right to legal and social and economic equality)

civil liberty (fundamental individual right protected by law and expressed as immunity from unwarranted governmental interference)

habeas corpus (the civil right to obtain a writ of habeas corpus as protection against illegal imprisonment)

freedom of religion; freedom of speech (a civil right guaranteed by the 1st amendment to the US constitution)

freedom of the press (a right guaranteed by the 1st amendment to the US constitution)

freedom of assembly (the right peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for redress of grievances; guaranteed by the 1st amendment to the US constitution)

freedom to bear arms (a right guaranteed by the 2nd amendment to the US constitution)

freedom from search and seizure (a right guaranteed by the 4th amendment to the US constitution)

right to due process (a right guaranteed by the 5th amendment to the US constitution; reaffirmed by the 14th amendment)

freedom from self-incrimination; privilege against self incrimination (the civil right (guaranteed by the 5th amendment to the United States Constitution) to refuse to answer questions or otherwise give testimony against yourself)

freedom from double jeopardy (a civil right guaranteed by the 5th amendment to the US constitution)

visitation right (the right granted by a court to a parent (or other relative) who is deprived of custody of a child to visit the child on a regular basis)

jurisdiction; legal power ((law) the right and power to interpret and apply the law)

rundown; summation; summing up (a concluding summary (as in presenting a case before a law court))

instrument; legal document; legal instrument; official document ((law) a document that states some contractual relationship or grants some right)

derivative; derivative instrument (a financial instrument whose value is based on another security)

negotiable instrument (an unconditional order or promise to pay an amount of money)

docket ((law) the calendar of a court; the list of cases to be tried or a summary of the court's activities)

passport (a document issued by a country to a citizen allowing that person to travel abroad and re-enter the home country)

ship's papers (official papers which a ship is legally required to have; related to ownership, cargo, etc.)

manifest (a customs document listing the contents put on a ship or plane)

copy; transcript (a reproduction of a written record (e.g. of a legal or school record))

joint resolution (a resolution passed by both houses of Congress which becomes legally binding when signed by the chief executive (or passed over the executive's veto))

debenture (a certificate or voucher acknowledging a debt)

power of attorney (a legal instrument authorizing someone to act as the grantor's agent)

letters of administration (legal document naming someone to administer an estate when no executor has been named)

letters testamentary (a legal document from a probate court or court officer informing you of your appointment as executor of a will and empowering you to discharge those responsibilities)

act; enactment (a legal document codifying the result of deliberations of a committee or society or legislative body)

law (legal document setting forth rules governing a particular kind of activity)

relation; relation back ((law) the principle that an act done at a later time is deemed by law to have occurred at an earlier time)

pre-emption; preemption (the judicial principle asserting the supremacy of federal over state legislation on the same subject)

jus soli (the principle that a person's nationality at birth is determined by the place of birth)

venter (the womb)

presumption ((law) an inference of the truth of a fact from other facts proved or admitted or judicially noticed)

principle; rationale ((law) an explanation of the fundamental reasons (especially an explanation of the working of some device in terms of laws of nature))

malice aforethought; mens rea ((law) criminal intent; the thoughts and intentions behind a wrongful act (including knowledge that the act is illegal); often at issue in murder trials)

premeditation ((law) thought and intention to commit a crime well in advance of the crime; goes to show criminal intent)

mitigating circumstance ((law) a circumstance that does not exonerate a person but which reduces the penalty associated with the offense)

probable cause ((law) evidence sufficient to warrant an arrest or search and seizure)

nuisance ((law) a broad legal concept including anything that disturbs the reasonable use of your property or endangers life and health or is offensive)

legal system (a system for interpreting and enforcing the laws)

bail (the legal system that allows an accused person to be temporarily released from custody (usually on condition that a sum of money guarantees their appearance at trial))

jury system (a legal system for determining the facts at issue in a law suit)

patent system (a legal system for protecting the rights of inventors)

tax system (a legal system for assessing and collecting taxes)

electoral system; voting system (a legal system for making democratic choices)

judicial doctrine; judicial principle; legal principle ((law) a principle underlying the formulation of jurisprudence)

jus sanguinis (the principle that a person's nationality at birth is the same as that of his natural parents)

anti-drug law (a law forbidding the sale or use of narcotic drugs)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "law"):

military law (the body of laws and rules of conduct administered by military courts for the discipline, trial, and punishment of military personnel)

Law of Moses; Mosaic law (the laws (beginning with the Ten Commandments) that God gave to the Israelites through Moses; it includes many rules of religious observance given in the first five books of the Old Testament (in Judaism these books are called the Torah))

Islamic law; sharia; sharia law; shariah; shariah law (the code of law derived from the Koran and from the teachings and example of Mohammed)

statutory law (the body of laws created by legislative statutes)

securities law (the body of laws governing the issuance and selling of securities)

commercial law; law merchant; mercantile law (the body of rules applied to commercial transactions; derived from the practices of traders rather than from jurisprudence)

martial law (the body of law imposed by the military over civilian affairs (usually in time of war or civil crisis); overrides civil law)

law of the land (a phrase used in the Magna Carta to refer to the then established law of the kingdom (as distinct from Roman or civil law); today it refers to fundamental principles of justice commensurate with due process)

international law; law of nations (the body of laws governing relations between nations)

case law; common law; precedent (a system of jurisprudence based on judicial precedents rather than statutory laws)

civil law (the body of laws established by a state or nation for its own regulation)

canon law; ecclesiastical law (the body of codified laws governing the affairs of a Christian church)

administrative law (the body of rules and regulations and orders and decisions created by administrative agencies of government)

tax law (the body of laws governing taxation)


Sense 3law [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

A generalization that describes recurring facts or events in nature

Classified under:

Nouns denoting cognitive processes and contents

Synonyms:

law of nature; law

Context example:

the laws of thermodynamics

Hypernyms ("law" is a kind of...):

concept; conception; construct (an abstract or general idea inferred or derived from specific instances)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "law"):

law of thermodynamics ((physics) a law governing the relations between states of energy in a closed system)

law of mass action ((chemistry) the law that states the following principle: the rate of a chemical reaction is directly proportional to the molecular concentrations of the reacting substances)

Dalton's law; law of multiple proportions ((chemistry) law stating that when two elements can combine to form more than one compound the amounts of one of them that combines with a fixed amount of the other will exhibit a simple multiple relation)

law of gravitation; Newton's law of gravitation ((physics) the law that states any two bodies attract each other with a force that is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them)

law of equivalent proportions; law of reciprocal proportions ((chemistry) law stating that the proportions in which two elements separately combine with a third element are also the proportions in which they combine together)

law of effect ((psychology) the principle that behaviors are selected by their consequences; behavior having good consequences tends to be repeated whereas behavior that leads to bad consequences is not repeated)

law of diminishing returns (a law affirming that to continue after a certain level of performance has been reached will result in a decline in effectiveness)

law of constant proportion; law of definite proportions ((chemistry) law stating that every pure substance always contains the same elements combined in the same proportions by weight)

Mendel's law ((genetics) one of two principles of heredity formulated by Gregor Mendel on the basis of his experiments with plants; the principles were limited and modified by subsequent genetic research)

law of motion; Newton's law; Newton's law of motion (one of three basic laws of classical mechanics)

Ohm's law (electric current is directly proportional to voltage and inversely proportional to resistance; I = E/R)

Weber's law ((psychophysics) the concept that a just-noticeable difference in a stimulus is proportional to the magnitude of the original stimulus)

power law; Stevens' law; Stevens' power law ((psychophysics) the concept that the magnitude of a subjective sensation increases proportional to a power of the stimulus intensity)

principle of relativity ((physics) a universal law that states that the laws of mechanics are not affected by a uniform rectilinear motion of the system of coordinates to which they are referred)

Planck's radiation law ((physics) an equation that expresses the distribution of energy in the radiated spectrum of an ideal black body)

Planck's law ((physics) the basis of quantum theory; the energy of electromagnetic waves is contained in indivisible quanta that have to be radiated or absorbed as a whole; the magnitude is proportional to frequency where the constant of proportionality is give by Planck's constant)

Mendeleev's law; periodic law ((chemistry) the principle that chemical properties of the elements are periodic functions of their atomic numbers)

exclusion principle; Pauli exclusion principle (no two electrons or protons or neutrons in a given system can be in states characterized by the same set of quantum numbers)

Pascal's law; Pascal's law of fluid pressures (pressure applied anywhere to a body of fluid causes a force to be transmitted equally in all directions; the force acts at right angles to any surface in contact with the fluid)

law of averages (a law affirming that in the long run probabilities will determine performance)

Kirchhoff's laws ((physics) two laws governing electric networks in which steady currents flow: the sum of all the currents at a point is zero and the sum of the voltage gains and drops around any closed circuit is zero)

Boyle's law; Mariotte's law (the pressure of an ideal gas at constant temperature varies inversely with the volume)

Bose-Einstein statistics ((physics) statistical law obeyed by a system of particles whose wave function is not changed when two particles are interchanged (the Pauli exclusion principle does not apply))

Benford's law (a law used by auditors to identify fictitious populations of numbers; applies to any population of numbers derived from other numbers)

Bernoulli's law; law of large numbers ((statistics) law stating that a large number of items taken at random from a population will (on the average) have the population statistics)

Avogadro's hypothesis; Avogadro's law (the principle that equal volumes of all gases (given the same temperature and pressure) contain equal numbers of molecules)

Archimedes' principle; law of Archimedes ((hydrostatics) the apparent loss in weight of a body immersed in a fluid is equal to the weight of the displaced fluid)

principle; rule (a rule or law concerning a natural phenomenon or the function of a complex system)

all-or-none law ((neurophysiology) a nerve impulse resulting from a weak stimulus is just as strong as a nerve impulse resulting from a strong stimulus)

Coulomb's Law (a fundamental principle of electrostatics; the force of attraction or repulsion between two charged particles is directly proportional to the product of the charges and inversely proportional to the distance between them; principle also holds for magnetic poles)

Dalton's law; Dalton's law of partial pressures; law of partial pressures ((chemistry and physics) law stating that the pressure exerted by a mixture of gases equals the sum of the partial pressures of the gases in the mixture; the pressure of a gas in a mixture equals the pressure it would exert if it occupied the same volume alone at the same temperature)

distribution law ((chemistry) the total energy in an assembly of molecules is not distributed equally but is distributed around an average value according to a statistical distribution)

equilibrium law; law of chemical equilibrium ((chemistry) the principle that (at chemical equilibrium) in a reversible reaction the ratio of the rate of the forward reaction to the rate of the reverse reaction is a constant for that reaction)

Fechner's law; Weber-Fechner law ((psychophysics) the concept that the magnitude of a subjective sensation increases proportional to the logarithm of the stimulus intensity; based on early work by E. H. Weber)

Fermi-Dirac statistics ((physics) law obeyed by a systems of particles whose wave function changes when two particles are interchanged (the Pauli exclusion principle applies))

Charles's law; Gay-Lussac's law; law of volumes ((physics) the density of an ideal gas at constant pressure varies inversely with the temperature)

Henry's law ((chemistry) law formulated by the English chemist William Henry; the amount of a gas that will be absorbed by water increases as the gas pressure increases)

Kepler's law; Kepler's law of planetary motion ((astronomy) one of three empirical laws of planetary motion stated by Johannes Kepler)

Hooke's law ((physics) the principle that (within the elastic limit) the stress applied to a solid is proportional to the strain produced)

Hubble law; Hubble's law ((astronomy) the generalization that the speed of recession of distant galaxies (the red shift) is proportional to their distance from the observer)

Holonyms ("law" is a part of...):

theory (a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena)


Sense 4law [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

A rule or body of rules of conduct inherent in human nature and essential to or binding upon human society

Classified under:

Nouns denoting cognitive processes and contents

Synonyms:

natural law; law

Hypernyms ("law" is a kind of...):

concept; conception; construct (an abstract or general idea inferred or derived from specific instances)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "law"):

divine law (a law that is believed to come directly from God)

principle (a basic truth or law or assumption)

sound law (a law describing sound changes in the history of a language)


Sense 5law [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

The learned profession that is mastered by graduate study in a law school and that is responsible for the judicial system

Classified under:

Nouns denoting acts or actions

Synonyms:

practice of law; law

Context example:

he studied law at Yale

Hypernyms ("law" is a kind of...):

learned profession (one of the three professions traditionally believed to require advanced learning and high principles)

Domain category:

jurisprudence; law (the collection of rules imposed by authority)

Domain member category:

disbar (remove from the bar; expel from the practice of law by official action)


Sense 6law [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

The force of policemen and officers

Classified under:

Nouns denoting groupings of people or objects

Synonyms:

constabulary; police; police force; law

Context example:

the law came looking for him

Hypernyms ("law" is a kind of...):

force; personnel (group of people willing to obey orders)

law enforcement agency (an agency responsible for insuring obedience to the laws)

Meronyms (members of "law"):

officer; police officer; policeman (a member of a police force)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "law"):

posse; posse comitatus (a temporary police force)

Schutzstaffel; SS (special police force in Nazi Germany founded as a personal bodyguard for Adolf Hitler in 1925; the SS administered the concentration camps)

secret police (a police force that operates in secrecy (usually against persons suspected of treason or sedition))

New Scotland Yard; Scotland Yard (the detective department of the metropolitan police force of London)

Mounties; RCMP; Royal Canadian Mounted Police (the federal police force of Canada)

Mutawa; Mutawa'een (religious police in Saudi Arabia whose duty is to ensure strict adherence to established codes of conduct; offenders may be detained indefinitely; foreigners are not excluded)

gendarmerie; gendarmery (French police force; a group of gendarmes or gendarmes collectively)

European Law Enforcement Organisation; Europol (police organization for the European Union; aims to improve effectiveness and cooperation among European police forces)


Sense 7law [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

The branch of philosophy concerned with the law and the principles that lead courts to make the decisions they do

Classified under:

Nouns denoting cognitive processes and contents

Synonyms:

legal philosophy; jurisprudence; law

Hypernyms ("law" is a kind of...):

philosophy (the rational investigation of questions about existence and knowledge and ethics)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "law"):

patent law (that branch of jurisprudence that studies the laws governing patents)

matrimonial law (that branch of jurisprudence that studies the laws governing matrimony)

corporation law (that branch of jurisprudence that studies the laws governing corporations)

contract law (that branch of jurisprudence that studies the rights and obligations of parties entering into contracts)


 Learn English with... Proverbs of the week 
"You can't teach an old dog new tricks." (English proverb)

"After dark all cats are leopards." (Native American proverb, Zuni)

"If the hair was precious, wouldn't grow on the ass." (Arabic proverb)

"He who leaves and then returns, had a good trip." (Corsican proverb)

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