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law - definition and synonyms

 
 
 
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noun law pronunciation in American English //
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singularlaw
plurallaws
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  1. 1
    [countable] an official rule that people must obey
    The new law will be passed by the Senate in the spring.
    break a law (=do something illegal): Several traffic laws had been broken.
    law against: a law against shoplifting
    law on: a new law on gun ownership
    1. a.
      [singular/uncountable] a system of rules within a country, region, or community dealing with peoples behavior and activities
      against the law (=illegal): It is against the law to beg on the streets of the city.
      break the law (=do something illegal): The state is prepared to prosecute them for breaking the law.
      obey the law: Local officials are reminding people to obey the law and not sell fireworks to children under sixteen.
      by/under law (=according to the law): Any changes are required by law to be in writing.
      within the law (=legal or legally): They pledged to work within the law to bring about change.
      above the law (=allowed to not obey the law): No official is above the law.
      become law (=be made a law): The bill could become law as soon as next year.
      enforce the law (=punish people who do not obey it): It is the Attorney General’s job to enforce the law, not the White House’s.
    2. b.
      [uncountable] a set of rules within a larger system that deal with a particular subject or area
      criminal/company/constitutional law
  2. 2
    [uncountable] the profession that includes lawyers and judges
    practice law (=work as a lawyer): Anne’s been practicing law for 20 years.
    1. a.
      [only before noun] relating to this profession, to courts, or to a legal system
      a law firm
  3. 3
    [uncountable] the area of knowledge or study dealing with systems of rules and the way that they work
    Both of them are studying law.
    1. a.
      [only before noun] relating to this area of knowledge or study
      a law school/degree
  4. 4
    [countable] science an explanation of a natural or scientific process
    the laws of physics/gravity

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