Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “law”

law

noun uk   /lɔː/ us    /lɑː/

law noun (RULE)

B1 [C] a rule, usually made by a government, that is used to order the way in which a society behaves: There are laws against drinking in the street. The laws governing the possession of firearms are being reviewed. They led the fight to impose laws on smoking. [or+ -ing verb + to infinitive] Many doctors backed plans for a law banning/to ban all tobacco advertising. B2 [U] (often the law) the system of rules of a particular country, group, or area of activity: What does the law say about having alcohol in the blood while driving? Of course robbery is against the law! The judge ruled that the directors had knowingly broken the law. You can't take that course of action and remain within the law. They have to provide a contract by law. It was a detailed study of international human rights law. B2 [U] the area of knowledge or work that involves studying or working with the law : She's going to study law at university. a law firm in New York [S] informal the police: The law was/were out in force at the demonstration. go to law When someone goes to law about something, they ask a court to make a legal judgment about it.

law noun (PRINCIPLE)

C2 [C] a general rule that states what always happens when the same conditions exist: Newton's laws of motion the laws of nature/physicshumorous The first law of (= the most important principle in) politics is - if you're going to lie, don't get found out!
(Definition of law from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of law?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “law” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

monster

any imaginary frightening creature, especially one that is large and strange

Word of the Day

What’s that lovely smell?

by Kate Woodford,
October 29, 2014
As adult humans, we can distinguish about 10,000 different smells. It’s no wonder, then, that we have so many words and expressions to describe them. This week we’re taking a look at those smell words – words that describe good smells and words that describe bad smells. Most smell words are either

Read More 

high-frequency trading noun

October 27, 2014
a type of stock market trading that uses very complex technology to trade extremely quickly, often making tiny profits which nevertheless add up to substantial sums Lewis’s book, Flash Boys, is driving a huge amount of attention toward the topic of high frequency trading, and it has rekindled some of

Read More