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Wordnet 3.0

ADJECTIVE (4)

1. conformable to or allowed by law;
- Example: "lawful methods of dissent"

2. according to custom or rule or natural law;
[syn: lawful, rule-governed]

3. having a legally established claim;
- Example: "the legitimate heir"
- Example: "the true and lawful king"
[syn: true(a), lawful, rightful(a)]

4. authorized, sanctioned by, or in accordance with law;
- Example: "a legitimate government"
[syn: lawful, legitimate, licit]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Lawful \Law"ful\, a. 1. Conformable to law; allowed by law; legitimate; competent. [1913 Webster] 2. Constituted or authorized by law; rightful; as, the lawful owner of lands. [1913 Webster] Lawful age, the age when the law recognizes one's right of independent action; majority; -- generally the age of twenty-one years. Also called legal age or age of majority. [1913 Webster +PJC] Note: In some of the States, and for some purposes, a woman attains lawful age at eighteen. --Abbott. Syn: Legal; constitutional; allowable; regular; rightful. Usage: Lawful, Legal. Lawful means conformable to the principle, spirit, or essence of the law, and is applicable to moral as well as juridical law. Legal means conformable to the letter or rules of the law as it is administered in the courts; conformable to juridical law. Legal is often used as antithetical to equitable, but lawful is seldom used in that sense. -- Law"ful*ly, adv. -- Law"ful*ness, n. [1913 Webster]
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):

lawful adj 1: conformable to or allowed by law; "lawful methods of dissent" [ant: unlawful] 2: according to custom or rule or natural law [syn: lawful, rule-governed] 3: having a legally established claim; "the legitimate heir"; "the true and lawful king" [syn: true(a), lawful, rightful(a)] 4: authorized, sanctioned by, or in accordance with law; "a legitimate government" [syn: lawful, legitimate, licit]
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:

125 Moby Thesaurus words for "lawful": actionable, admissible, allowable, allowed, applicable, authentic, authoritative, authorized, balanced, binding, bona fide, candid, card-carrying, cogent, competent, consistent, constitutional, de jure, defensible, deserved, dinkum, due, equitable, even, evenhanded, fair, fair and square, fit, following the letter, genuine, good, honest, honest-to-God, inartificial, judicial, juridical, just, justiciable, justifiable, justified, kosher, lawmaking, legal, legislative, legit, legitimate, legitimized, level, licit, lifelike, literal, logical, meet, meet and right, merited, natural, naturalistic, original, permissible, permitted, proper, pure, real, realistic, right, right and proper, rightful, sanctionable, sanctioned, self-consistent, simon-pure, simple, sincere, solid, sound, square, statutory, sterling, substantial, sufficient, sure-enough, true to life, true to nature, true to reality, unadulterated, unaffected, unassumed, unassuming, uncolored, unconcocted, uncopied, uncounterfeited, undisguised, undisguising, undistorted, unexaggerated, unfabricated, unfanciful, unfeigned, unfeigning, unfictitious, unflattering, unimagined, unimitated, uninvented, unpretended, unpretending, unqualified, unromantic, unsimulated, unspecious, unsynthetic, unvarnished, valid, verbal, verbatim, veridical, verisimilar, warrantable, warranted, weighty, well-founded, well-grounded, within the law, word-for-word
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):

LAWFUL. That which is not forbidden by law. Id omne licitum est, quod non est legibus prohibitum, quamobrem, quod, lege permittente, fit, poenam non meretur. To be valid a contract must be lawful.
The Devil's Dictionary (1881-1906):

LAWFUL, adj. Compatible with the will of a judge having jurisdiction.