Law Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Law, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Law?

(n) Law is the written Statute, ordinance, regulation, methods endorsed by the government or authority to regulate the governance of the land by deciding the rights and authorities of the people of the land

History and Meaning of Law

Law is a system of rules, regulations, and guidelines enforced by a governing body to govern conduct, maintain order, and ensure justice. The history of law can be traced back to ancient times when rulers depended on customs and traditions to maintain order in their communities. Over time, laws became more formalized, and legal systems evolved to ensure compliance.

Today, laws are enacted by legislative bodies that represent the interests of the public. These laws are enforced by law enforcement officials and interpreted by courts. The legal system ensures that individuals and organizations comply with the law, and that justice is served if laws are broken.

Examples of Law

  • Criminal law: Criminal law is a body of law that relates to crime. Criminal law defines criminal offenses, prescribes punishments, and regulates the investigation and prosecution of criminal offenses.
  • Family law: Family law is a body of law that deals with family matters, such as divorce, adoption, and child custody. Family law regulates the legal relationships between family members.
  • Contract law: Contract law is a body of law that governs contracts, which are legally binding agreements between two or more parties. Contract law regulates the formation, performance, and enforcement of contracts.
  • Tort law: Tort law is a body of law that relates to civil wrongs, such as negligence, defamation, and trespass. Tort law provides a legal remedy for individuals who have been wronged by the actions of others.
  • Property law: Property law is a body of law that relates to the ownership and use of property. Property law regulates the acquisition, use, and transfer of property.

Legal Terms Similar to Law

  • Statute: A statute is a written law passed by a legislative body.
  • Regulation: A regulation is a rule or directive imposed by an administrative agency.
  • Ordinance: An ordinance is a law enacted by a local government, such as a city or county.
  • Common law: Common law is a body of law derived from judicial decisions and customs, rather than statute. Common law is also known as case law.
  • Civil law: Civil law is a body of law that deals with disputes between individuals, organizations, or government entities. Civil law is distinct from criminal law, which relates to crime.