Meaning of “legally” in the English Dictionary

"legally" in British English

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uk /ˈliː.ɡəl.i/ us /ˈliː.ɡəl.i/

B2 as stated by the law:

Children under 16 are not legally allowed to buy cigarettes.

More examples

  • People in Britain legally reach adulthood at 18.
  • While children are in school, teachers are legally in loco parentis.
  • Sellers are not legally obliged to accept the highest offer.
  • Doctors are legally obliged to take certain precautions.
  • He got hold of the money legally, without resort to violence.

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

"legally" in Business English

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uk /ˈliːɡəli/ us LAW

according to the laws of a country or state:

Immigrant workers must carry an identity card proving they are in the country legally.
The public is being denied access to information to which it is legally entitled.
Your employer is not legally obliged to continue paying your salary.
At the moment I am legally bound not to talk about it.
These agreements will be legally enforceable as from May next year.
legally binding

a legally binding agreement, contract, decision, etc. is one that the law says you must obey:

Each order that is accepted constitutes a legally binding contract between the seller and the purchaser.

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

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