[syn: codified, statute(p)]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Statute \Stat"ute\ (-[-u]t), n. [F. statut, LL. statutum, from
L. statutus, p. p. of statuere to set, station, ordain, fr.
status position, station, fr. stare, statum, to stand. See
Stand, and cf. Constitute, Destitute.]
1. An act of the legislature of a state or country,
declaring, commanding, or prohibiting something; a
positive law; the written will of the legislature
expressed with all the requisite forms of legislation; --
used in distinction from common law. See Common law,
under Common, a. --Bouvier.
Note: Statute is commonly applied to the acts of a
legislative body consisting of representatives. In
monarchies, the laws of the sovereign are called
edicts, decrees, ordinances, rescripts, etc. In works
on international law and in the Roman law, the term is
used as embracing all laws imposed by competent
authority. Statutes in this sense are divided into
statutes real, statutes personal, and statutes mixed;
statutes real applying to immovables; statutes personal
to movables; and statutes mixed to both classes of
2. An act of a corporation or of its founder, intended as a
permanent rule or law; as, the statutes of a university.
3. An assemblage of farming servants (held possibly by
statute) for the purpose of being hired; -- called also
statute fair. [Eng.] Cf. 3d Mop, 2. --Halliwell.
Statute book, a record of laws or legislative acts.
Statute cap, a kind of woolen cap; -- so called because
enjoined to be worn by a statute, dated in 1571, in behalf
of the trade of cappers. [Obs.] --Halliwell.
Statute fair. See Statute, n., 3, above.
Statute labor, a definite amount of labor required for the
public service in making roads, bridges, etc., as in
certain English colonies.
Statute merchant (Eng. Law), a bond of record pursuant to
the stat. 13 Edw. I., acknowledged in form prescribed, on
which, if not paid at the day, an execution might be
awarded against the body, lands, and goods of the debtor,
and the obligee might hold the lands until out of the
rents and profits of them the debt was satisfied; --
called also a pocket judgment. It is now fallen into
disuse. --Tomlins. --Bouvier.
Statute mile. See under Mile.
Statute of limitations (Law), a statute assigning a certain
time, after which rights can not be enforced by action.
Statute staple, a bond of record acknowledged before the
mayor of the staple, by virtue of which the creditor may,
on nonpayment, forthwith have execution against the body,
lands, and goods of the debtor, as in the statute
merchant. It is now disused. --Blackstone.
Syn: Act; regulation; edict; decree. See Law.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
adj 1: enacted by a legislative body; "statute law"; "codified
written laws" [syn: codified, statute(p)]
n 1: an act passed by a legislative body [syn: legislative
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
67 Moby Thesaurus words for "statute":
Eighteenth Amendment, Prohibition Party, Volstead Act, act, assize,
ban, bill, bylaw, canon, contraband, decree, decretum, denial,
dictate, dictation, disallowance, edict, embargo, enactment,
exclusion, forbiddance, forbidden fruit, forbidding, form,
formality, formula, formulary, index, index expurgatorius,
index librorum prohibitorum, inhibition, injunction, institution,
interdict, interdiction, interdictum, jus, law, legislation, lex,
measure, no-no, ordinance, ordonnance, precept, preclusion,
prescript, prescription, prevention, prohibition,
prohibitory injunction, proscription, refusal, regulation,
rejection, repression, restrictive covenants, rubric, rule, ruling,
ruling out, standing order, sumptuary laws, suppression, taboo,
zoning, zoning laws
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):
STATUTE. The written will of the legislature, solemnly expressed according
to the forms prescribed in the constitution; an act of the legislature.
2. This word is used in contradistinction to the common law. Statutes
acquire their force from the time of their passage unless otherwise
provided. 7 Wheat. R. 104: 1 Gall. R. 62.
3. It is a general rule that when the provision of a statute is
general, everything which is necessary to make such provision effectual is
supplied by the common law; Co. Litt. 235; 2 Inst. 222; Bac. Ab. h.t. B; and
when a power is given by statute, everything necessary for making it
effectual is given by implication: quando le aliquid concedit, concedere
videtur et id pe quod devenitur ad aliud. 12 Co. 130, 131 2 Inst. 306.
4. Statutes are of several kinds; namely, Public or private. 1. Public
statutes are those of which the judges will take notice without pleading;
as, those which concern all officers in general; acts concerning trade in
general or any specific trade; acts concerning all persons generally. 2.
Private acts, are those of which the judges will not take notice without
pleading; such as concern only a particular species, or person; as, acts
relating to any particular place, or to several particular places, or to one
or several particular counties. Private statutes may be rendered public by
being so declared by the legislature. Bac. Ab. h.t. F; 1 Bl. Com. 85.
Declaratory or remedial. 1. A declaratory statute is one which is passed in
order to put an end to a doubt as to what the common law is, and which
declares what it is, and has ever been. 2. Remedial statutes are those which
are made to supply such defects, and abridge such superfluities in the
common law as may have been discovered. 1 Bl. Com. 86. These remedial
statutes are themselves divided into enlarging statutes, by which the common
law is made more comprehensive and extended than it was before; and into
restraining statutes, by which it is narrowed down to that which is just and
proper. The term remedial statute is also applied to those acts which give
the party injured a remedy, and in some respects those statutes are penal.
Esp. Pen. Act. 1.
6. Temporary or perpetual. 1. A temporary statute is one which is
limited in its duration at the time of its enactment. It continues in force
until the time of its limitation has expired, unless sooner repealed. 2. A
perpetual statute is one for the continuance of which there is no limited
time, although it be not expressly declared to be so. If, however, a statute
which did not itself contain any limitation, is to be governed by another
which is temporary only, the former will also be temporary and dependent
upon the existence of the latter. Bac. Ab. h.t. D.
7. Affirmative or negative. 1. An affirmative statute is one which is
enacted in affirmative terms; such a statute does not take away the common
law. If, for example, a statute without negative words, declares that when
certain requisites shall have been complied with, deeds shall, have in
evidence a certain effect, this does not prevent their being used in
evidence, though the requisites have not been complied with, in the same
manner as they might have been before the statute was passed. 2 Cain. R.
169. 2. A negative statute is one expressed in negative terms, and so
controls the common law, that it has no force in opposition to the statute.
Bro. Parl. pl. 72; Bac. Ab. h.t. G.
8. Penal statutes are those which order or prohibit a thing under a
certain penalty. Esp. Pen. Actions, 5 Bac. Ab. h.t. I, 9. Vide, generally,
Bac. Ab. h.t.; Com. Dig. Parliament; Vin. Ab. h.t.; Dane's Ab. Index, h.t.;
Chit. Pr. Index, h.t.; 1 Kent, Com. 447-459; Barrington on the Statutes,
Boscaw. on Pen. Stat.; Esp. on Penal Actions and Statutes.
9. Among the civilians, the term statute is generally applied to all
sorts of laws and regulations; every provision of law which ordains,
permits, or prohibits anything is a statute without considering from what
source it arises. Sometimes the word is used in contradistinction to the
imperial Roman law, which, by way of eminence, civilians call the common
law. They divide statutes into three classes, personal, real and mixed.
10. Personal statutes are those which have principally for their object
the person, and treat of property only incidentally; such are those which
regard birth, legitimacy, freedom, the fight of instituting suits, majority
as to age, incapacity to contract, to make a will, to plead in person, and
the like. A personal statute is universal in its operation, and in force
11. Real statutes are those which have principally for their object,
property, and which do not speak of persons, except in relation to property;
such are those which concern the disposition, which one may make of his
property either alive or by testament. A real statute, unlike a personal
one, is confined in its operation to the country of its origin.
12. Mixed statutes are those which concern at once both persons and
property. But in this sense almost all statutes are mixed, there being
scarcely any law relative to persons, which does not at the same time relate
to things. Vide Merl. Repert. mot Statut; Poth. Cout. d'Orleans, ch. 1; 17
Martin's Rep. 569-589; Story's Confl. of Laws, Sec. 12, et seq.; Bouv. Inst.