Meaning of “common law” in the English Dictionary

"common law" in British English

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common lawnoun [ U ]

uk /ˌkɒm.ən ˈlɔː/ us /ˌkɑː.mən ˈlɑː/

the legal system in England and most of the US that has developed over a period of time from old customs and court decisions, rather than laws made by politicians

common-lawadjective

uk /ˈkɒm.ən.lɔː/ us /ˈkɑː.mən.lɑː/

(Definition of “common law” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"common law" in American English

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common lawnoun [ C/U ]

us /ˈkɑm·ən ˈlɔ/

politics & government a legal system that has developed over a period of time from customs and court decisions

(Definition of “common law” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"common law" in Business English

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common lawnoun [ U ]

uk us

LAW a system of laws based on customs and court decisions rather than on written laws made by a parliament. Common law forms the basis of the legal system in the UK, US, and various other countries:

There is no statutory definition of "occupier" so it is necessary to turn to common law.

(Definition of “common law” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)