Meaning of “legal” in the English Dictionary

"legal" in British English

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uk /ˈliː.ɡəl/ us /ˈliː.ɡəl/

legal adjective (LAW)

B2 connected with the law:

legal advice
legal status
your legal rights
my legal representatives (= my lawyers)

B2 allowed by the law:

Is abortion legal in your country?

More examples

  • You have a legal obligation to ensure your child receives a proper education.
  • It's an organization that offers free legal advice to people on low incomes.
  • She won the court case, but she had to pay an enormous amount in legal fees.
  • Channel 4 is running a series on the unfairness of the legal system.
  • Unless the money is returned, we shall shortly be contacting our legal department.

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

"legal" in American English

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legaladjective [ not gradable ]

us /ˈli·ɡəl/

connected with or allowed by the law:

the legal profession
the legal right to vote
adverb us /ˈli·ɡə·li/

The contract is legally binding.

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

"legal" in Business English

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uk /ˈliːɡəl/ us LAW

connected with the system of law within a country or area:

There isn't a formal legal agreement that binds us together as a company.
a legal battle/dispute Two years of legal battles and delay sent the project's cost spiraling.
legal fees

allowed by law:

The report fails to make a distinction between legal and illegal immigrants.
Regulators are reviewing the purchase to make sure it is legal.

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