• The body of binding rules and regulations, customs and standards established in a community by its legislative and judicial authorities.
  • A binding regulation or custom established in a community in this way.
  • The control and order brought about by the observance of such rules.
  • A person or group that act(s) with authority to uphold such rules and order (for example, one or more police officers).
  • The profession that deals with such rules (as lawyers, judges, police officers, etc).
  • Jurisprudence, the field of knowledge which encompasses these rules.
  • Litigation, legal action (as a means of maintaining or restoring order, redressing wrongs, etc).
  • An allowance of distance or time (a head start) given to a weaker (human or animal) competitor in a race, to make the race more fair.
  • One of two metaphysical forces ruling the world in some fantasy settings, also called order, and opposed to chaos.
  • A tumulus of stones.
  • A hill.



  • An exclamation of mild surprise; lawks.


  • From Middle English lawe, laȝe, from Old English lagu, from Old Norse lǫg, originally the plural of lag, from Proto-Germanic *lagą, from Proto-Indo-European *legʰ-. Cognate with Icelandic lög, Swedish lag, Danish lov. Replaced Old English ǣ and ġesetnes. More at lay. Unrelated to French loi nor Spanish ley, since they both derive from *leǵ-.
  • From Middle English lawe, from Old English hlāw. Also spelled low.
  • Compare la.

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