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English definition of “law”

law

noun     /lɔː/
[C] GOVERNMENT, LAW a rule, usually made by a government, that states how people may and may not behave in a society, and often orders particular punishments if they do not obey: a law against sth There is a law against aggressive telemarketing.a law requires/states sth Senate leaders proposed a law requiring rigorous new scrutiny of all future tax breaks.a law allows/forbids/prohibits sth Checks will be processed more quickly, thanks to a federal law allowing banks to use electronic images of checks.the laws on/governing sth He plans changes to the laws on bankruptcy. tax/anti-trust/environmental laws
[S or U] GOVERNMENT, LAW the set or system of laws made by a government in a particular place: UK/American/Indian, etc. law Promising magical remedies is prosecutable under Indian law.federal/international/state law The hearing was required by federal law.obey/respect the law Even the most powerful people have a duty to obey the law. uphold/enforce the law break/disobey/violate the law It is against the law to hire undocumented workers in the U.S.the law says/states/requires The law requires traders to state clearly what rate of exchange they are using.by law By law, the maximum donation allowed is $5,000.under the law Under the law, private equity is taxed in exactly the same manner as every other investment.outside/within the law He took risks with his business dealings, but was careful to stay within the law.
[U] the study of law or the job of being a lawyer: go into/practise/study law Her mother inspired her to study law.law firm/practice/school This isn't just any law school, it's the one that has more judges in more courtrooms than any other. a law degree/graduate/professor
[C or U] the rules set by an organization that control how it and its members should behave: the laws of sth Managers know how to promote a respectful working environment while maintaining the laws of the office. Church law regulates the actions of the bishops.
[C, usually plural] a rule or normal way of behaving which the people who do an activity usually follow: the laws of sth The laws of good business say you shake hands and make eye contact when you leave. Out of all the laws of salesmanship, the first one to learn is to get a prospect's name. Vendors have informal laws of their own about client-stealing.
[C] a rule which states what always happens when the same conditions exist: the law of sth The first law of thermodynamics says that energy is conserved in any process involving a thermodynamic system and its surroundings.the laws of physics/science/economics According to the laws of physics this would not be possible.
the law LAW the police or other officials who stop crime or catch criminals: He had to swear he wasn't changing his name in order to run from the law.
→ See also blue laws, blue-sky laws, bylaw, case law, civil law, commercial law, common law, company law, competition law, conflict of law(s), court of law, criminal law, employment law, international law, labour law, law of diminishing returns, Moore’s law, Murphy's Law, the Pareto principle, Parkinson's Law, private law, public law, statute law, substantive law, wage-and-hour laws
(Definition of law noun from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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