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Wordnet 3.0

NOUN (7)

1. the collection of rules imposed by authority;
- Example: "civilization presupposes respect for the law"
- Example: "the great problem for jurisprudence to allow freedom while enforcing order"
[syn: law, jurisprudence]

2. legal document setting forth rules governing a particular kind of activity;
- Example: "there is a law against kidnapping"

3. a rule or body of rules of conduct inherent in human nature and essential to or binding upon human society;
[syn: law, natural law]

4. a generalization that describes recurring facts or events in nature;
- Example: "the laws of thermodynamics"
[syn: law, law of nature]

5. the branch of philosophy concerned with the law and the principles that lead courts to make the decisions they do;
[syn: jurisprudence, law, legal philosophy]

6. the learned profession that is mastered by graduate study in a law school and that is responsible for the judicial system;
- Example: "he studied law at Yale"
[syn: law, practice of law]

7. the force of policemen and officers;
- Example: "the law came looking for him"
[syn: police, police force, constabulary, law]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Law \Law\ (l[add]), n. [OE. lawe, laghe, AS. lagu, from the root of E. lie: akin to OS. lag, Icel. l["o]g, Sw. lag, Dan. lov; cf. L. lex, E. legal. A law is that which is laid, set, or fixed; like statute, fr. L. statuere to make to stand. See Lie to be prostrate.] 1. In general, a rule of being or of conduct, established by an authority able to enforce its will; a controlling regulation; the mode or order according to which an agent or a power acts. [1913 Webster] Note: A law may be universal or particular, written or unwritten, published or secret. From the nature of the highest laws a degree of permanency or stability is always implied; but the power which makes a law, or a superior power, may annul or change it. [1913 Webster] These are the statutes and judgments and laws, which the Lord made. --Lev. xxvi. 46. [1913 Webster] The law of thy God, and the law of the King. --Ezra vii. 26. [1913 Webster] As if they would confine the Interminable . . . Who made our laws to bind us, not himself. --Milton. [1913 Webster] His mind his kingdom, and his will his law. --Cowper. [1913 Webster] 2. In morals: The will of God as the rule for the disposition and conduct of all responsible beings toward him and toward each other; a rule of living, conformable to righteousness; the rule of action as obligatory on the conscience or moral nature. [1913 Webster] 3. The Jewish or Mosaic code, and that part of Scripture where it is written, in distinction from the gospel; hence, also, the Old Testament. Specifically: the first five books of the bible, called also Torah, Pentatech, or Law of Moses. [1913 Webster +PJC] What things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law . . . But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets. --Rom. iii. 19, 21. [1913 Webster] 4. In human government: (a) An organic rule, as a constitution or charter, establishing and defining the conditions of the existence of a state or other organized community. (b) Any edict, decree, order, ordinance, statute, resolution, judicial, decision, usage, etc., or recognized, and enforced, by the controlling authority. [1913 Webster] 5. In philosophy and physics: A rule of being, operation, or change, so certain and constant that it is conceived of as imposed by the will of God or by some controlling authority; as, the law of gravitation; the laws of motion; the law heredity; the laws of thought; the laws of cause and effect; law of self-preservation. [1913 Webster] 6. In mathematics: The rule according to which anything, as the change of value of a variable, or the value of the terms of a series, proceeds; mode or order of sequence. [1913 Webster] 7. In arts, works, games, etc.: The rules of construction, or of procedure, conforming to the conditions of success; a principle, maxim; or usage; as, the laws of poetry, of architecture, of courtesy, or of whist. [1913 Webster] 8. Collectively, the whole body of rules relating to one subject, or emanating from one source; -- including usually the writings pertaining to them, and judicial proceedings under them; as, divine law; English law; Roman law; the law of real property; insurance law. [1913 Webster] 9. Legal science; jurisprudence; the principles of equity; applied justice. [1913 Webster] Reason is the life of the law; nay, the common law itself is nothing else but reason. --Coke. [1913 Webster] Law is beneficence acting by rule. --Burke. [1913 Webster] And sovereign Law, that state's collected will O'er thrones and globes elate, Sits empress, crowning good, repressing ill. --Sir W. Jones. [1913 Webster] 10. Trial by the laws of the land; judicial remedy; litigation; as, to go law. [1913 Webster] When every case in law is right. --Shak. [1913 Webster] He found law dear and left it cheap. --Brougham. [1913 Webster] 11. An oath, as in the presence of a court. [Obs.] See Wager of law, under Wager. [1913 Webster] Avogadro's law (Chem.), a fundamental conception, according to which, under similar conditions of temperature and pressure, all gases and vapors contain in the same volume the same number of ultimate molecules; -- so named after Avogadro, an Italian scientist. Sometimes called Amp[`e]re's law. Bode's law (Astron.), an approximative empirical expression of the distances of the planets from the sun, as follows: -- Mer. Ven. Earth. Mars. Aste. Jup. Sat. Uran. Nep. 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 0 3 6 12 24 48 96 192 384 -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --- --- 4 7 10 16 28 52 100 196 388 5.9 7.3 10 15.2 27.4 52 95.4 192 300 where each distance (line third) is the sum of 4 and a multiple of 3 by the series 0, 1, 2, 4, 8, etc., the true distances being given in the lower line. Boyle's law (Physics), an expression of the fact, that when an elastic fluid is subjected to compression, and kept at a constant temperature, the product of the pressure and volume is a constant quantity, i. e., the volume is inversely proportioned to the pressure; -- known also as Mariotte's law, and the law of Boyle and Mariotte. Brehon laws. See under Brehon. Canon law, the body of ecclesiastical law adopted in the Christian Church, certain portions of which (for example, the law of marriage as existing before the Council of Tent) were brought to America by the English colonists as part of the common law of the land. --Wharton. Civil law, a term used by writers to designate Roman law, with modifications thereof which have been made in the different countries into which that law has been introduced. The civil law, instead of the common law, prevails in the State of Louisiana. --Wharton. Commercial law. See Law merchant (below). Common law. See under Common. Criminal law, that branch of jurisprudence which relates to crimes. Ecclesiastical law. See under Ecclesiastical. Grimm's law (Philol.), a statement (propounded by the German philologist Jacob Grimm) of certain regular changes which the primitive Indo-European mute consonants, so-called (most plainly seen in Sanskrit and, with some changes, in Greek and Latin), have undergone in the Teutonic languages. Examples: Skr. bh[=a]t[.r], L. frater, E. brother, G. bruder; L. tres, E. three, G. drei, Skr. go, E. cow, G. kuh; Skr. dh[=a] to put, Gr. ti-qe`-nai, E. do, OHG, tuon, G. thun. See also lautverschiebung. Kepler's laws (Astron.), three important laws or expressions of the order of the planetary motions, discovered by John Kepler. They are these: (1) The orbit of a planet with respect to the sun is an ellipse, the sun being in one of the foci. (2) The areas swept over by a vector drawn from the sun to a planet are proportioned to the times of describing them. (3) The squares of the times of revolution of two planets are in the ratio of the cubes of their mean distances. Law binding, a plain style of leather binding, used for law books; -- called also law calf. Law book, a book containing, or treating of, laws. Law calf. See Law binding (above). Law day. (a) Formerly, a day of holding court, esp. a court-leet. (b) The day named in a mortgage for the payment of the money to secure which it was given. [U. S.] Law French, the dialect of Norman, which was used in judicial proceedings and law books in England from the days of William the Conqueror to the thirty-sixth year of Edward III. Law language, the language used in legal writings and forms. Law Latin. See under Latin. Law lords, peers in the British Parliament who have held high judicial office, or have been noted in the legal profession. Law merchant, or Commercial law, a system of rules by which trade and commerce are regulated; -- deduced from the custom of merchants, and regulated by judicial decisions, as also by enactments of legislatures. Law of Charles (Physics), the law that the volume of a given mass of gas increases or decreases, by a definite fraction of its value for a given rise or fall of temperature; -- sometimes less correctly styled Gay Lussac's law, or Dalton's law. Law of nations. See International law, under International. Law of nature. (a) A broad generalization expressive of the constant action, or effect, of natural conditions; as, death is a law of nature; self-defense is a law of nature. See Law, 4. (b) A term denoting the standard, or system, of morality deducible from a study of the nature and natural relations of human beings independent of supernatural revelation or of municipal and social usages. Law of the land, due process of law; the general law of the land. Laws of honor. See under Honor. Laws of motion (Physics), three laws defined by Sir Isaac Newton: (1) Every body perseveres in its state of rest or of moving uniformly in a straight line, except so far as it is made to change that state by external force. (2) Change of motion is proportional to the impressed force, and takes place in the direction in which the force is impressed. (3) Reaction is always equal and opposite to action, that is to say, the actions of two bodies upon each other are always equal and in opposite directions. Marine law, or Maritime law, the law of the sea; a branch of the law merchant relating to the affairs of the sea, such as seamen, ships, shipping, navigation, and the like. --Bouvier. Mariotte's law. See Boyle's law (above). Martial law.See under Martial. Military law, a branch of the general municipal law, consisting of rules ordained for the government of the military force of a state in peace and war, and administered in courts martial. --Kent. --Warren's Blackstone. Moral law, the law of duty as regards what is right and wrong in the sight of God; specifically, the ten commandments given by Moses. See Law, 2. Mosaic law, or Ceremonial law. (Script.) See Law, 3. Municipal law, or Positive law, a rule prescribed by the supreme power of a state, declaring some right, enforcing some duty, or prohibiting some act; -- distinguished from international law and constitutional law. See Law, 1. Periodic law. (Chem.) See under Periodic. Roman law, the system of principles and laws found in the codes and treatises of the lawmakers and jurists of ancient Rome, and incorporated more or less into the laws of the several European countries and colonies founded by them. See Civil law (above). Statute law, the law as stated in statutes or positive enactments of the legislative body. Sumptuary law. See under Sumptuary. To go to law, to seek a settlement of any matter by bringing it before the courts of law; to sue or prosecute some one. To take the law of, or To have the law of, to bring the law to bear upon; as, to take the law of one's neighbor. --Addison. Wager of law. See under Wager. Syn: Justice; equity. Usage: Law, Statute, Common law, Regulation, Edict, Decree. Law is generic, and, when used with reference to, or in connection with, the other words here considered, denotes whatever is commanded by one who has a right to require obedience. A statute is a particular law drawn out in form, and distinctly enacted and proclaimed. Common law is a rule of action founded on long usage and the decisions of courts of justice. A regulation is a limited and often, temporary law, intended to secure some particular end or object. An edict is a command or law issued by a sovereign, and is peculiar to a despotic government. A decree is a permanent order either of a court or of the executive government. See Justice. [1913 Webster]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Law \Law\, interj. [Cf. La.] An exclamation of mild surprise. [Archaic or Low] [1913 Webster]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Law \Law\, v. t. Same as Lawe, v. t. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):

law n 1: the collection of rules imposed by authority; "civilization presupposes respect for the law"; "the great problem for jurisprudence to allow freedom while enforcing order" [syn: law, jurisprudence] 2: legal document setting forth rules governing a particular kind of activity; "there is a law against kidnapping" 3: a rule or body of rules of conduct inherent in human nature and essential to or binding upon human society [syn: law, natural law] 4: a generalization that describes recurring facts or events in nature; "the laws of thermodynamics" [syn: law, law of nature] 5: the branch of philosophy concerned with the law and the principles that lead courts to make the decisions they do [syn: jurisprudence, law, legal philosophy] 6: the learned profession that is mastered by graduate study in a law school and that is responsible for the judicial system; "he studied law at Yale" [syn: law, practice of law] 7: the force of policemen and officers; "the law came looking for him" [syn: police, police force, constabulary, law]
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:

173 Moby Thesaurus words for "law": Dogberry, Eighteenth Amendment, John Law, Procrustean law, Prohibition Party, Volstead Act, a priori truth, act, appointment, assize, axiom, ban, bill, bluecoat, bobby, brevet, bring action against, bring into court, bring suit, bring to justice, bring to trial, brocard, bull, bylaw, canon, code, command, commandment, contraband, convention, cop, copper, criminology, criterion, declaration, decree, decree-law, decreement, decretal, decretum, denial, dick, dictate, dictation, dictum, diktat, disallowance, drag into court, edict, edictum, embargo, enactment, exclusion, exigency, fiat, flatfoot, flattie, forbiddance, forbidden fruit, forbidding, forensic psychiatry, form, formality, formula, formulary, fundamental, gendarme, general principle, go into litigation, go to law, golden rule, guideline, guiding principle, gumshoe, imperative, implead, index, index expurgatorius, index librorum prohibitorum, inhibition, injunction, institute, institution, interdict, interdiction, interdictum, ipse dixit, jurisprudence, jus, law of nature, legal chemistry, legal medicine, legal science, legislation, lex, litigate, mandate, maxim, measure, medical jurisprudence, medico-legal medicine, mitzvah, moral, necessity, no-no, nomography, norm, norma, order of nature, ordinance, ordonnance, peeler, pig, postulate, precept, preclusion, prescribed form, prescript, prescription, prevention, principium, principle, proclamation, prohibition, prohibitory injunction, pronouncement, pronunciamento, proposition, proscription, prosecute, prosecute at law, put in suit, put on trial, refusal, regulation, rejection, repression, rescript, restrictive covenants, rubric, rule, ruling, ruling out, seek in law, seek justice, self-evident truth, senatus consult, senatus consultum, set form, settled principle, shamus, standard, standing order, statute, sue, sumptuary laws, suppression, taboo, take to court, tenet, the cops, the fuzz, the law, theorem, truism, truth, ukase, universal law, universal truth, working principle, working rule, zoning, zoning laws
V.E.R.A. -- Virtual Entity of Relevant Acronyms (September 2014):

LAW Local Authority Workstation
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015):

software law law Software may, under various circumstances and in various countries, be restricted by patent or copyright or both. Most commercial software is sold under some kind of software license. A patent normally covers the design of something with a function such as a machine or process. Copyright restricts the right to make and distribute copies of something written or recorded, such as a song or a book of recipies. Software has both these aspects - it embodies functional design in the algorithms and data structures it uses and it could also be considered as a recording which can be copied and "performed" (run). "Look and feel" lawsuits attempt to monopolize well-known command languages; some have succeeded. Copyrights on command languages enforce gratuitous incompatibility, close opportunities for competition, and stifle incremental improvements. Software patents are even more dangerous; they make every design decision in the development of a program carry a risk of a lawsuit, with draconian pretrial seizure. It is difficult and expensive to find out whether the techniques you consider using are patented; it is impossible to find out whether they will be patented in the future. The proper use of copyright is to prevent software piracy - unauthorised duplication of software. This is completely different from copying the idea behind the program in the same way that photocopying a book differs from writing another book on the same subject. Usenet newsgroup: news:misc.legal.computing. ["The Software Developer's and Marketer's Legal Companion", Gene K. Landy, 1993, AW, 0-201-62276-9]. (1994-11-16)
Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary:

Law a rule of action. (1.) The Law of Nature is the will of God as to human conduct, founded on the moral difference of things, and discoverable by natural light (Rom. 1:20; 2:14, 15). This law binds all men at all times. It is generally designated by the term conscience, or the capacity of being influenced by the moral relations of things. (2.) The Ceremonial Law prescribes under the Old Testament the rites and ceremonies of worship. This law was obligatory only till Christ, of whom these rites were typical, had finished his work (Heb. 7:9, 11; 10:1; Eph. 2:16). It was fulfilled rather than abrogated by the gospel. (3.) The Judicial Law, the law which directed the civil policy of the Hebrew nation. (4.) The Moral Law is the revealed will of God as to human conduct, binding on all men to the end of time. It was promulgated at Sinai. It is perfect (Ps. 19:7), perpetual (Matt. 5:17, 18), holy (Rom. 7:12), good, spiritual (14), and exceeding broad (Ps. 119:96). Although binding on all, we are not under it as a covenant of works (Gal. 3:17). (See COMMANDMENTS.) (5.) Positive Laws are precepts founded only on the will of God. They are right because God commands them. (6.) Moral positive laws are commanded by God because they are right.
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):

LAW, ARBITRARY. An arbitrary law is one made by the legislator simply because he wills it, and is not founded in the nature of things; such law, for example, as the tariff law, which may be high or low. This term is used in opposition to immutable.
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):

LAW, CANON. The canon law is a body of Roman ecclesiastical law, relative to such matters as that church either has or pretends to have the proper jurisdiction over: 2. This is compiled from the opinions of the ancient Latin fathers, the decrees of general councils, and the decretal epistles and bulls of the holy see. All which lay in the same confusion and disorder as the Roman civil law, till about the year 1151, when one Gratian, an Italian monk, animated by the discovery of Justinian's Pandects, reduced the ecclesiastical constitutions also into some method, in three books, which he entitled Concordia discordantium canonum, but which are generally known by the name of Decretum Gratiani. These reached as low as the time of Pope Alexander III. The subsequent papal decrees to the pontificate of Gregory IX., were published in much the same method, under the auspices of that pope, about the year 1230, in five books, entitled Decretalia Gregorii noni. A sixth book was added by Boniface VIII., about the year 1298, which is called Sextus decretalium. The Clementine constitution or decrees of Clement V., were in like manner authenticated in 1317, by his successor, John XXII., who also published twenty constitutions of his own, called the Extravagantes Joannis, all of which in some manner answer to the novels of the civil law. To these have since been added some decrees of the later popes, in five books called Extravagantes communes. And all these together, Gratian's Decrees, Gregory's Decretals, the Sixth Decretals, the Clementine Constitutions, and the Extravagants of John and his successors, form the Corpus juris canonici, or body of the Roman canon law. 1 Bl. Com. 82; Encyclopedie, Droit Canonique, Droit Public Ecclesiastique; Dict. de Jurispr. Droit Canonique; Ersk. Pr. L. Scotl. B. 1, t. 1, s. 10. See, in general, Ayl. Par. Jur. Can. Ang.; Shelf. on M. & D. 19; Preface to Burn's Eccl. Law, by Thyrwhitt, 22; Hale's Hist. C. L. 26-29; Bell's Case of a Putative Marriage, 203; Dict. du Droit Canonique; Stair's Inst. b. 1, t. 1, 7.
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):

LAW. In its most general and comprehensive sense, law signifies a rule of action; and this term is applied indiscriminately to all kinds of action; whether animate or inanimate, rational or irrational. 1 Bl. Com. 38. In its more confined sense, law denotes the rule, not of actions in general, but of human action or conduct. In the civil code of Louisiana, art. 1, it is defined to be "a solemn expression of the legislative will." Vide Toull. Dr. Civ. Fr. tit. prel. s. 1, n. 4; 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 1-3. 2. Law is generally divided into four principle classes, namely; Natural law, the law of nations, public law, and private or civil law. When considered in relation to its origin, it is statute law or common law. When examined as to its different systems it is divided into civil law, common law, canon law. When applied to objects, it is civil, criminal, or penal. It is also divided into natural law and positive law. Into written law, lex scripta; and unwritten law, lex non scripta. Into law merchant, martial law, municipal law, and foreign law. When considered as to their duration, laws are immutable and arbitrary or positive; when as their effect, they are prospective and retrospective. These will be separately considered.
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):

LAW, CIVIL. The term civil law is generally applied by way of eminence to the civil or municipal law of the Roman empire, without distinction as to the time when the principles of such law were established or modified. In another sense, the civil law is that collection of laws comprised in the institutes, the code, and the digest of the emperor Justinian, and the novel constitutions of himself and some of his successors. Ersk. Pr. L. Scotl. B. 1, t. l, s. 9; 6 L. R. 494. 2. The Institutes contain the elements or first principles of the Roman law, in four books. The Digests or Pandects are in fifty books, and contain the opinions and writings of eminent lawyers digested in a systematical method, whose works comprised more than two thousand volumes, The new code, or collection of imperial constitutions, in twelve books; which was a substitute for the code of Theodosius. The novels or new constitutions, posterior in time to the other books, and amounting to a supplement to the code, containing new decrees of successive emperors as new questions happened to arise. These form the body of the Roman law, or corpus juris civilis, as published about the time of Justinian. 3. Although successful in the west, these laws were not, even in the lifetime of the emperor universally received; and after the Lombard invasion they became so totally neglected, that both the Code and Pandects were lost till the twelfth century, A. D. 1130; when it is said the Pandects were accidentally discovered at Amalphi, and the Code at Ravenna. But, as if fortune would make an atonement for her former severity, they have since been the study of the wisest men, and revered as law, by the politest nations. 4. By the term civil law is also understood the particular law of each people, opposed to natural law, or the law of nations, which are common to all. Just. Inst. l. 1, t. 1, Sec. 1, 2; Ersk. Pr. L. Scot. B. 1, t. 1, s. 4. In this sense it, is used by Judge Swift. See below. 5. Civil law is also sometimes understood as that which has emanated from the secular power opposed to the ecclesiastical or military. 6. Sometimes by the term civil law is meant those laws which relate to civil matters only; and in this sense it is opposed to criminal law, or to those laws which concern criminal matters. Vide Civil. 7. Judge Swift, in his System of the Laws of Connecticut, prefers the term civil law, to that of municipal law. He considers the term municipal to be too limited in its signification. He defines civil law to be a rule of human action, adopted by mankind in a state of society, or prescribed by the supreme power of the government, requiring a course of conduct not repugnant to morality or religion, productive of the greatest political happiness, and prohibiting actions contrary thereto, and which is enforced by the sanctions of pains and penalties. 1 Sw. Syst. 37. See Ayl. Pand. B. 1, t. 2, p. 6. See, in general, as to civil law, Cooper's Justinian the Pandects; 1 Bl. Com. 80, 81; Encyclopedie, art. Droit Civil, Droit Romain; Domat, Les Loix Civiles; Ferriere's Dict.; Brown's Civ. Law; Halifax's Analys. Civ. Law; Wood's Civ. Law; Ayliffe's Pandects; Hein. Elem. Juris.; Erskine's Institutes; Pothier; Eunomus, Dial. 1; Corpus Juris Civilis; Taylor's Elem. Civ. Law.
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):

LAW, INTERNATIONAL. The law of nature applied to the affairs of nations, commonly called the law of nations, jus gentium; is also called by some modern authors international law. Toullier, Droit Francais, tit. rel. Sec. 12. Mann. Comm. 1; Bentham. on Morals, &c., 260, 262; Wheat. on Int. Law; Foelix, Du Droit Intern. Prive, n. 1.
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):

LAW, MARTIAL. Martial law is a code established for the government of the army and navy of the United States. 2. Its principal rules are to be found in the articles of war. (q.v.) The object of this code, or body of regulations is to, maintain that order and discipline, the fundamental principles of which are a due obedience of the several ranks to their proper officers, a subordination of each rank to their superiors, and the subjection of the whole to certain rules of discipline, essential to their acting with the union and energy of an organized body. The violations of this law are to be tried by a court martial. (q.v.) 3. A military commander has not the power, by declaring a district to be under martial law, to subject all the citizens to that code, and to suspend the operation of the writ of habeas corpus. 3 Mart. (Lo.) 531. Vide Hale's Hist. C. L. 38; 1 Bl. Com. 413; Tytler on Military Law; Ho. on C. M.; M'Arth. on C. M.; Rules and Articles of War, art. 64, et seq; 2 Story, L. U. S. 1000.
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):

LAW, COMMON. The common law is that which derives its force and authority from the universal consent and immemorial practice of the people. It has never received the sanction of the legislature, by an express act, which is the criterion by which it is distinguished from the statute law. It has never been reduced to writing; by this expression, however, it is not meant that all those laws are at present merely oral, or communicated from former ages to the present solely by word of mouth, but that the evidence of our common law is contained in our books of Reports, and depends on the general practice and judicial adjudications of our courts. 2. The common law is derived from two sources, the common law of England, and the practice and decision of our own courts. In some states the English common law has been adopted by statute. There is no general rule to ascertain what part of the English common law is valid and binding. To run the line of distinction, is a subject of embarrassment to courts, and the want of it a great perplexity to the student. Kirb. Rep. Pref. It may, however, be observed generally, that it is binding where it has not been superseded by the constitution of the United States, or of the several states, or by their legislative enactments, or varied by custom, and where it is founded in reason and consonant to the genius and manners of the people. 3. The phrase "common law" occurs in the seventh article of the amendments of the constitution of the United States. "In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall not exceed twenty dollar says that article, "the right of trial by jury shall be preserved. The "common law" here mentioned is the common law of England, and not of any particular state. 1 Gall. 20; 1 Bald. 558; 3 Wheat. 223; 3 Pet. R. 446; 1 Bald. R. 554. The term is used in contradistinction to equity, admiralty, and maritime law. 3 Pet. 446; 1 Bald. 554. 4. The common law of England is not in all respects to be taken as that of the United States, or of the several states; its general principles are adopted only so far as they are applicable to our situation. 2 Pet, 144; 8 Pet. 659; 9 Cranch, 333; 9 S. & R. 330; 1 Blackf 66, 82, 206; Kirby, 117; 5 Har. & John. 356; 2 Aik. 187; Charlt. 172; 1 Ham. 243. See 5 Cow. 628; 5 Pet. 241; 1 Dall. 67; 1 Mass. 61; 9 Pick. 532; 3 Greenl. 162; 6 Greenl. 55; 3 Gill & John. 62; Sampson's Discourse before the Historical Society of New York; 1 Gallis. R. 489; 3 Conn. R. 114; 2 Dall. 2, 297, 384; 7 Cranch, R. 32; 1 Wheat. R. 415; 3 Wheat. 223; 1 Blackf. R. 205; 8 Pet. R. 658; 5 Cowen, R. 628; 2 Stew. R. 362.
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):

LAW, CRIMINAL. By criminal law is understood that system of laws which provides for the mode of trial of persons charged with criminal offences, defines crimes, and provides for their punishments.
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):

LAW, FOREIGN. By foreign laws are understood the laws of a foreign country. The states of the American Union are for some purposes foreign to each other, and the laws of each are foreign in the others. See Foreign laws.
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):

LAW, MERCHANT. A system of customs acknowledged and taken notice of by all commercial nations; and those customs constitute a part of the general law of the land; and being a part of that law their existence cannot be proved by witnesses, but the judges are bound to take notice of them ex officio. See Beawes' Lex Mercatoria Rediviva; Caines' Lex Mercatoria Americana; Com. Dig. Merchant, D; Chit. Comm. Law; Pardess. Droit Commercial; Collection des Lois Maritimes anterieure au dix hutiŠme siŠcle, par Dupin; Capmany, Costumbres Maritimas; II Consolato del Mare; Us et Coutumes de la Mer; Piantandia, Della Giurisprudenze Maritina Commerciale, Antica e Moderna; Valin, Commentaire sur l'Ordonnance de la Marine, du Mois d'Aout, 1681; Boulay-Paty, Dr. Comm.; Boucher, Institutions au Droit Maritime.
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):

LAW, MUNICIPAL. Municipal law is defined by Mr. Justice Blackstone to be "a rule of civil conduct prescribed by the supreme power in a state, commanding what is right and prohibiting what is wrong." This definition has been criticised, and has been perhaps, justly considered imperfect. The latter part has been thought superabundant to the first; see Mr. Christian's note; and the first too general and indefinite, and too limited in its signification to convey a just idea of the subject. See Law, civil. Mr. Chitty defines municipal law to be "a rule of civil conduct, prescribed by the supreme power in a state, commanding what shall be done or what shall not be done." 1 Bl. Com. 44, note 6, Chitty's edit. 2. Municipal law, among the Romans, was a law made to govern a particular city or province; this term is derived from the Latin municipium, which among them signified a city which was governed by its own laws, and which had its own magistrates.
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):

LAW, RETROSPECTIVE. A retrospective law is one that is to take effect, in point of time, before it was passed. 2. Whenever a law of this kind impairs the obligation of contracts, it is void. 3 Dall. 391. But laws which only vary the remedies, divest no right, but merely cure a defect in proceedings otherwise fair, are valid. 10 Serg. & Rawle, 102, 3; 15 Serg. & Rawle, 72. See Ex post facto.
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):

LAW, STATUTE. The written will of the legislature, solemnly expressed according to the forms prescribed by the constitution; an act of the legislature. See Statute.
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):

LAW, UNWRITTEN, or lex non scripta. All the laws which do not come under the definition of written law; it is composed, principally, of the law of nature, the law of nations, the common law, and customs.
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):

LAW, PENAL. One which inflicts a penalty for a violation of its enactment.
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):

LAW, POSITIVE. Positive law, as used in opposition to natural law, may be considered in a threefold point of view. 1. The universal voluntary law, or those rules which are presumed to be law, by the uniform practice of nations in general, and by the manifest utility of the rules themselves. 2. The customary law, or that which, from motives of convenience, has, by tacit, but implied agreement, prevailed, not generally indeed among all nations, nor with so permanent a utility as to become a portion of the universal voluntary law, but enough to have acquired a prescriptive obligation among certain states so situated as to be mutually benefited by it. 1 Taunt. 241. 3. The conventional law, or that which is agreed between particular states by express treaty, a law binding on the parties among whom such treaties are in force. 1 Chit. Comm. Law, 28.
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):

LAW, PRIVATE. An act of the legislature which relates to some private matters, which do not concern the public at large.
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):

LAW, PROSPECTIVE. One which provides for, and regulates the future acts of men, and does not interfere in any way with what has past.
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):

LAW, PUBLIC. A public law is one in which all persons have an interest.
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):

LAW, WRITTEN, or lex scripta. This consists of the constitution of the United States the constitutions of the several states the acts of the different legislatures, as the acts of congress, and of the legislatures of the several states, and of treaties. See Statute.
The Devil's Dictionary (1881-1906):

LAW, n. Once Law was sitting on the bench, And Mercy knelt a-weeping. "Clear out!" he cried, "disordered wench! Nor come before me creeping. Upon your knees if you appear, 'Tis plain your have no standing here." Then Justice came. His Honor cried: "_Your_ status? -- devil seize you!" "_Amica curiae,_" she replied -- "Friend of the court, so please you." "Begone!" he shouted -- "there's the door -- I never saw your face before!" G.J.