English dictionary of Law

English dictionary of Law

 English dictionary of Law

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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A
abandonment
the act of giving something up

abolish ; get rid of
do away with; "Slavery was abolished in the mid-19th century in America and in Russia"

abrogation ; repeal ; annulment
the act of abrogating; an official or legal cancellation

accomplice ; confederate
a person who joins with another in carrying out some plan (especially an unethical or illegal plan)

act ; deed
something that people do or cause to happen

action
a judicial proceeding brought by one party against another; one party prosecutes another for a wrong done or for protection of a right or for prevention of a wrong

adjudication
the final judgment in a legal proceeding; the act of pronouncing judgment based on the evidence presented

adjudicator
a person who studies and settles conflicts and disputes

adoption
a legal proceeding that creates a parent-child relation between persons not related by blood; the adopted child is entitled to all privileges belonging to a natural child of the adoptive parents (including the right to inherit)

agent
an active and efficient cause; capable of producing a certain effect; "their research uncovered new disease agents"

agreement ; arrangement
the thing arranged or agreed to; "they made arrangements to meet in Chicago"

agreement ; understanding
the statement (oral or written) of an exchange of promises; "they had an agreement that they would not interfere in each other's business"; "there was an understanding between management and the workers"

alias
a name that has been assumed temporarily

alibi
(law) a defense by an accused person purporting to show that he or she could not have committed the crime in question

alimony ; maintenance
court-ordered support paid by one spouse to another after they are separated

allegation
(law) a formal accusation against somebody (often in a court of law); "an allegation of malpractice"

amendment
a statement that is added to or revises or improves a proposal or document (a bill or constitution etc.)

appeal
(law) a legal proceeding in which the appellant resorts to a higher court for the purpose of obtaining a review of a lower court decision and a reversal of the lower court's judgment or the granting of a new trial; "their appeal was denied in the superior court"

arbiter ; arbitrator ; umpire
someone chosen to judge and decide a disputed issue; "the critic was considered to be an arbiter of modern literature"; "the arbitrator's authority derived from the consent of the disputants"; "an umpire was appointed to settle the tax case"

argument ; statement
a fact or assertion offered as evidence that something is true; "it was a strong argument that his hypothesis was true"

arson ; incendiarism
malicious burning to destroy property; "the British term for arson is fire-raising"

aspersion ; calumny ; slander ; defamation ; denigration
an abusive attack on a person's character or good name

autonomy ; liberty
immunity from arbitrary exercise of authority: political independence


B
bail
(criminal law) money that must be forfeited by the bondsman if an accused person fails to appear in court for trial; "the judge set bail at $10,000"; "a $10,000 bond was furnished by an alderman"

bankrupt ; insolvent
someone who has insufficient assets to cover their debts

bankruptcy ; failure
inability to discharge all your debts as they come due; "the company had to declare bankruptcy"; "fraudulent loans led to the failure of many banks"

bench
a long seat for more than one person

bequeath ; will
leave or give by will after one's death; "My aunt bequeathed me all her jewelry"; "My grandfather left me his entire estate"

bequest ; legacy
(law) a gift of personal property by will

blackmail
extortion of money by threats to divulge discrediting information

blame
an accusation that you are responsible for some lapse or misdeed; "his incrimination was based on my testimony"; "the police laid the blame on the driver"

breach
an opening (especially a gap in a dike or fortification)

bribery ; graft
the practice of offering something (usually money) in order to gain an illicit advantage

burglary
entering a building unlawfully with intent to commit a felony or to steal valuable property


C
case ; instance
an occurrence of something; "it was a case of bad judgment"; "another instance occurred yesterday"; "but there is always the famous example of the Smiths"

challenge
a demanding or stimulating situation; "they reacted irrationally to the challenge of Russian power"

challenge
issue a challenge to; "Fischer challenged Spassky to a match"

chamber
a natural or artificial enclosed space

charge
the price charged for some article or service; "the admission charge"

civil
applying to ordinary citizens as contrasted with the military; "civil authorities"

claim
an assertion of a right (as to money or property); "his claim asked for damages"

client
a person who seeks the advice of a lawyer

company
an institution created to conduct business; "he only invests in large well-established companies"; "he started the company in his garage"

confession
(Roman Catholic Church) the act of a penitent disclosing his sinfulness before a priest in the sacrament of penance in the hope of absolution

connoisseur ; cognoscente
an expert able to appreciate a field; especially in the fine arts

consent
permission to do something; "he indicated his consent"

consequence ; effect ; outcome ; result ; issue
a phenomenon that follows and is caused by some previous phenomenon; "the magnetic effect was greater when the rod was lengthwise"; "his decision had depressing consequences for business"; "he acted very wise after the event"

conspiracy ; confederacy
a group of conspirators banded together to achieve some harmful or illegal purpose

contempt ; scorn
lack of respect accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike; "he was held in contempt"; "the despite in which outsiders were held is legendary"

contract
a binding agreement between two or more persons that is enforceable by law

conviction ; condemnation ; sentence
(criminal law) a final judgment of guilty in a criminal case and the punishment that is imposed; "the conviction came as no surprise"

copy
a thing made to be similar or identical to another thing; "she made a copy of the designer dress"; "the clone was a copy of its ancestor"

copyright ; right of first publication
a document granting exclusive right to publish and sell literary or musical or artistic work

corruptness ; corruption
lack of integrity or honesty (especially susceptibility to bribery); use of a position of trust for dishonest gain

counterfeit ; forgery
a copy that is represented as the original

court
an assembly (including one or more judges) to conduct judicial business

covenant
a signed written agreement between two or more parties (nations) to perform some action

crime
an evil act not necessarily punishable by law; "crimes of the heart"

crime ; offense
(criminal law) an act punishable by law; usually considered an evil act; "a long record of crimes"

criminal ; felon ; outlaw
someone who has committed a crime or has been legally convicted of a crime

criminal ; felonious
involving or being or having the nature of a crime; "a criminal offense"; "criminal abuse"; "felonious intent"

customer ; client
someone who pays for goods or services


D
damages ; indemnity ; indemnification
a sum of money paid in compensation for loss or injury

debt
money or goods or services owed by one person to another

decision ; determination ; conclusion
a position or opinion or judgment reached after consideration; "a decision unfavorable to the opposition"; "his conclusion took the evidence into account"; "satisfied with the panel's determination"

defame ; slander ; denigrate ; calumniate ; smear
charge falsely or with malicious intent; attack the good name and reputation of someone; "The journalists have defamed me!" "The article in the paper sullied my reputation"

defendant ; suspect
a person or institution against whom an action is brought in a court of law; the person being sued or accused

defender ; guardian ; protector
a person who cares for persons or property

defrayal
the act of paying money

denial ; disaffirmation
the act of asserting that something alleged is not true

disclaimer
(law) a voluntary repudiation of a person's legal claim to something

disobedience ; noncompliance
the failure to obey

dispossession
the expulsion of someone (such as a tenant) from the possession of land by process of law

divorce ; divorcement
the legal dissolution of a marriage

document
writing that provides information (especially information of an official nature)

doubt ; dubiousness ; doubtfulness ; question
uncertainty about the truth or factuality or existence of something; "the dubiousness of his claim"; "there is no question about the validity of the enterprise"

doubt ; uncertainty ; incertitude ; dubiety ; doubtfulness ; dubiousness
the state of being unsure of something

due
a payment that is due (e.g., as the price of membership); "the society dropped him for non-payment of dues"


E
embezzle ; defalcate ; peculate ; misappropriate
appropriate (as property entrusted to one's care) fraudulently to one's own use; "The accountant embezzled thousands of dollars while working for the wealthy family"

estate
everything you own; all of your assets (whether real property or personal property) and liabilities

ethics ; moral philosophy
the philosophical study of moral values and rules

evidence
(law) all the means by which any alleged matter of fact whose truth is investigated at judicial trial is established or disproved

evidence ; grounds
your basis for belief or disbelief; knowledge on which to base belief; "the evidence that smoking causes lung cancer is very compelling"

examination ; scrutiny
the act of examining something closely (as for mistakes)

excuse ; exculpation
a defense of some offensive behavior or some failure to keep a promise etc.; "he kept finding excuses to stay"; "every day he had a new alibi for not getting a job"; "his transparent self-justification was unacceptable"

expert
a person with special knowledge or ability who performs skillfully

extradition
the surrender of an accused or convicted person by one state or country to another (usually under the provisions of a statute or treaty)


F
fact
a piece of information about circumstances that exist or events that have occurred; "first you must collect all the facts of the case"

fairness ; equity
conformity with rules or standards; "the judge recognized the fairness of my claim"

falsehood ; falsity ; untruth
a false statement

family
(biology) a taxonomic group containing one or more genera; "sharks belong to the fish family"

fault
responsibility for a bad situation or event; "it was John's fault"

feature ; characteristic
a prominent attribute or aspect of something; "the map showed roads and other features"; "generosity is one of his best characteristics"

federal
national; especially in reference to the government of the United States as distinct from that of its member units; "the Federal Bureau of Investigation"; "federal courts"; "the federal highway program"; "federal property"

fee
a fixed charge for a privilege or for professional services

felony
a serious crime (such as murder or arson)

filibuster
(law) a tactic for delaying or obstructing legislation by making long speeches

filing cabinet
office furniture consisting of a container for keeping papers in order

fine ; mulct
money extracted as a penalty

forbid ; prohibit ; interdict
command against; "I forbid you to call me late at night"; "Mother vetoed the trip to the chocolate store"; "Dad nixed our plans"

forge ; fake ; counterfeit
make a copy of with the intent to deceive; "he faked the signature"; "they counterfeited dollar bills"; "She forged a Green Card"

forgery
criminal falsification by making or altering an instrument with intent to defraud

fraud
intentional deception resulting in injury to another person

fraud ; hoax ; humbug
something intended to deceive; deliberate trickery intended to gain an advantage

freedom
the condition of being free; the power to act or speak or think without externally imposed restraints


G
guarantee ; warranty
a written assurance that some product or service will be provided or will meet certain specifications

guilt ; guiltiness
the state of having committed an offense

guilty
responsible for or chargeable with a reprehensible act; "guilty of murder"; "the guilty person"; "secret guilty deeds"


H
heir ; inheritor ; heritor
a person who is entitled by law or by the terms of a will to inherit the estate of another

homicide
the killing of a human being by another human being


I
illicit
contrary to or forbidden by law; "an illegitimate seizure of power"; "illicit trade"; "an outlaw strike"; "unlawful measures"

immune system
a system (including the thymus and bone marrow and lymphoid tissues) that protects the body from foreign substances and pathogenic organisms by producing the immune response

imposter ; impostor ; faker ; fraud
a person who makes deceitful pretenses

inalienable ; unalienable
incapable of being repudiated or transferred to another; "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights"

incompetent
not qualified or suited for a purpose; "an incompetent secret service"; "the filming was hopeless incompetent"

indictment ; bill of indictment
a formal document written for a prosecuting attorney charging a person with some offense

inequitable ; unjust
not equitable or fair; "the inequitable division of wealth"; "inequitable taxation"

inheritance ; heritage
any attribute or immaterial possession that is inherited from ancestors; "my only inheritance was my mother's blessing"; "the world's heritage of knowledge"

interference
the act of hindering or obstructing or impeding

interrogate ; question
pose a series of questions to; "The suspect was questioned by the police"; "We questioned the survivor about the details of the explosion"

intervention ; interference
a policy of intervening in the affairs of other countries

investment ; investment funds
money that is invested with an expectation of profit


J
judge ; justice ; jurist
a public official authorized to decide questions brought before a court of justice

judgment ; judgement
(law) the determination by a court of competent jurisdiction on matters submitted to it

jurisprudence
the branch of philosophy concerned with the law and the principles that lead courts to make the decisions they do

jury
a body of citizens sworn to give a true verdict according to the evidence presented in a court of law

justice ; justness
the quality of being just or fair


K
kidnapping ; snatch
(law) the unlawful act of capturing and carrying away a person against their will and holding them in false imprisonment

killer ; slayer
someone who causes the death of a person or animal

kin ; kindred ; clan ; tribe
group of people related by blood or marriage

kinsfolk
people descended from a common ancestor; "his family has lived in Massachusetts since the Mayflower"


L
language ; linguistic communication
a systematic means of communicating by the use of sounds or conventional symbols; "he taught foreign languages"; "the language introduced is standard throughout the text"; "the speed with which a program can be executed depends on the language in which it is written"

larceny ; theft ; thievery
the act of taking something from someone unlawfully; "the thieving is awful at Kennedy International"

law
legal document setting forth rules governing a particular kind of activity; "there is a law against kidnapping"

lawsuit ; case ; cause
a comprehensive term for any proceeding in a court of law whereby an individual seeks a legal remedy; "the family brought suit against the landlord"

lease
a contract granting use or occupation of property during a specified time for a specified payment

legal
established by or founded upon law or official or accepted rules

legal power ; jurisdiction
(law) the right and power to interpret and apply the law; "courts having jurisdiction in this district"

legislation ; legislating ; lawmaking
the act of making or enacting laws

legislative act ; statute
an act passed by a legislative body

lend ; loan
give temporarily; let have for a limited time; "I will lend you my car"; "loan me some money"

levy
a charge imposed and collected

libel
a false and malicious publication printed for the purpose of defaming a living person

liberty
freedom of choice; "liberty of opinion"; "liberty of worship"; "liberty--perfect liberty--to think or feel or do just as one pleases"; "at liberty to choose whatever occupation one wishes"

litigation ; judicial proceeding
a legal proceeding in a court; a judicial contest to determine and enforce legal rights

loan
the temporary provision of money (usually at interest)

looting ; robbery
plundering during riots or in wartime


M
manslaughter
homicide without malice aforethought

misdemeanor ; misdemeanour
a crime less serious than a felony

mortgage
a conditional conveyance of property as security for the repayment of a loan

murder ; slaying
unlawful premeditated killing of a human being by a human being

murderer ; manslayer
a criminal who commits homicide (who performs the unlawful premeditated killing of another human being)


O
oath ; swearing
a commitment to tell the truth (especially in a court of law); to lie under oath is to become subject to prosecution for perjury

offense ; offensive
the action of attacking an enemy

official
having official authority or sanction; "official permission"; "an official representative"

official ; functionary
a worker who holds or is invested with an office

opinion ; judgement
the legal document stating the reasons for a judicial decision; "opinions are usually written by a single judge"

opinion ; ruling
the reason for a court's judgment (as opposed to the decision itself)

owner ; proprietor
(law) someone who owns (is legal possessor of) a business; "he is the owner of a chain of restaurants"

ownership
the relation of an owner to the thing possessed; possession with the right to transfer possession to others


P
parole
(law) a conditional release from imprisonment that entitles the person to serve the remainder of the sentence outside the prison as long as the terms of release are complied with

partnership
a contract between two or more persons who agree to pool talent and money and share profits or losses

patent ; patent of invention
a document granting an inventor sole rights to an invention

payment
a sum of money paid or a claim discharged

penalty
the disadvantage or painful consequences of an action or condition; "neglected his health and paid the penalty"

penalty
a payment required for not fulfilling a contract

perjury
criminal offense of making false statements under oath

petition
a formal message requesting something that is submitted to an authority

police ; constabulary
the force of policemen and officers; "the law came looking for him"

possession ; ownership
the act of having and controlling property

power of attorney
a legal instrument authorizing someone to act as the grantor's agent

practice
the exercise of a profession; "the practice of the law"; "I took over his practice when he retired"

presumption
(law) an inference of the truth of a fact from other facts proved or admitted or judicially noticed

price
the amount of money needed to purchase something; "the price of gasoline"; "he got his new car on excellent terms"; "how much is the damage?"

price
the high value or worth of something; "her price is far above rubies"

price ; cost
value measured by what must be given or done or undergone to obtain something; "the cost in human life was enormous"; "the price of success is hard work"; "what price glory?"

prison ; prison house
a correctional institution where persons are confined while on trial or for punishment

private
concerning things deeply private and personal; "private correspondence"; "private family matters"

private ; individual
concerning one person exclusively; "we all have individual cars"; "each room has a private bath"

probation
(law) a way of dealing with offenders without imprisoning them; a defendant found guilty of a crime is released by the court without imprisonment subject to conditions imposed by the court; "probation is part of the sentencing process"

proceeding ; proceedings
(law) the institution of a sequence of steps by which legal judgments are invoked

professional ; professional person
a person engaged in one of the learned professions

proof ; cogent evidence
any factual evidence that helps to establish the truth of something; "if you have any proof for what you say, now is the time to produce it"

property
a basic or essential attribute shared by all members of a class; "a study of the physical properties of atomic particles"

property ; attribute
a construct whereby objects or individuals can be distinguished; "self-confidence is not an endearing property"

property ; belongings ; holding
something owned; any tangible or intangible possession that is owned by someone; "that hat is my property"; "he is a man of property";

prosecutor ; public prosecutor
a government official who conducts criminal prosecutions on behalf of the state

prostitution ; harlotry
offering sexual intercourse for pay

protection
the activity of protecting someone or something; "the witnesses demanded police protection"

prove ; show
provide evidence for; "The blood test showed that he was the father"; "Her behavior testified to her incompetence"

provision ; proviso
a stipulated condition; "he accepted subject to one provision"

punish ; penalize ; penalise
impose a penalty on; inflict punishment on; "The students were penalized for showing up late for class"; "we had to punish the dog for soiling the floor again"

punishment ; penalty
the act of punishing


Q
quorum
a gathering of the minimal number of members of an organization to conduct business


R
rape ; assault ; ravishment
the crime of forcing a woman to submit to sexual intercourse against her will

rationale ; principle
(law) an explanation of the fundamental reasons (especially an explanation of the working of some device in terms of laws of nature); "the rationale for capital punishment"; "the principles of internal-combustion engines"

rectify ; remedy ; repair ; amend
set straight or right; "remedy these deficiencies"; "rectify the inequities in salaries"; "repair an oversight"

redress ; remedy ; remediation
act of correcting an error or a fault or an evil

referendum
a legislative act is referred for final approval to a popular vote by the electorate

rent ; lease
let for money; "We rented our apartment to friends while we were abroad"

restriction ; limitation
a principle that limits the extent of something; "I am willing to accept certain restrictions on my movements"

retribution ; requital
a justly deserved penalty

right ; redress ; correct
make reparations or amends for; "right a wrongs done to the victims of the Holocaust"

robbery
larceny by threat of violence

rule ; govern
exercise authority over; as of nations; "Who is governing the country now?"


S
sabotage
destroy property or hinder normal operations; "The Resistance sabotaged railroad operations during the war"

sabotage
a deliberate act of destruction or disruption in which equipment is damaged

scandal ; dirt ; malicious gossip
disgraceful gossip about the private lives of other people

smear ; vilification ; malignment
slanderous defamation

smuggling
secretly importing prohibited goods or goods on which duty is due

speech ; language
(language) communication by word of mouth; "his speech was garbled"; "he uttered harsh language"; "he recorded the spoken language of the streets"

subpoena ; subpoena ad testificandum
a writ issued by court authority to compel the attendance of a witness at a judicial proceeding; disobedience may be punishable as a contempt of court

summons ; process
a writ issued by authority of law; usually compels the defendant's attendance in a civil suit; failure to appear results in a default judgment against the defendant

supply ; supplying
the activity of supplying or providing something

swindle ; diddle ; defraud ; gyp ; short-change ; con
deprive of by deceit; "He swindled me out of my inheritance"; "She defrauded the customers who trusted her"; "the cashier gypped me when he gave me too little change"


T
tenant ; renter
someone who pays rent to use land or a building or a car that is owned by someone else; "the landlord can evict a tenant who doesn't pay the rent"

testimony
a solemn statement made under oath

title
an identifying appellation signifying status or function: e.g. `Mr.' or `General'; "the professor didn't like his friends to use his formal title"

trademark
a formally registered symbol identifying the manufacturer or distributor of a product

transcript ; copy
a reproduction of a written record (e.g. of a legal or school record)

transfer
move from one place to another; "transfer the data"; "transmit the news"; "transfer the patient to another hospital"

treachery ; betrayal ; treason ; perfidy
an act of deliberate betrayal

treason
a crime that undermines the offender's government

treaty ; pact ; accord
a written agreement between two states or sovereigns

trial
(law) the determination of a person's innocence or guilt by due process of law; "he had a fair trial and the jury found him guilty"; "most of these complaints are settled before they go to trial"

trustee ; legal guardian
a person (or institution) to whom legal title to property is entrusted to use for another's benefit

truth ; true statement
a true statement; "he told the truth"; "he thought of answering with the truth but he knew they wouldn't believe it"


U
unconstitutional
not consistent with or according to a constitution; contrary to the U.S. Constitution

unfair ; unjust
not fair; marked by injustice or partiality or deception; "used unfair methods"; "it was an unfair trial"; "took an unfair advantage"

unlawful
contrary to or prohibited by or defiant of law; "unlawful measures"; "unlawful money"; "unlawful hunters"

usury
the act of lending money at an exorbitant rate of interest


V
vagrancy
the state of wandering from place to place; having no permanent home or means of livelihood

validation
the act of validating; finding or testing the truth of something

validity ; validness
the quality of having legal force or effectiveness

value
the quality (positive or negative) that renders something desirable or valuable; "the Shakespearean Shylock is of dubious value in the modern world"

vandalism ; hooliganism
willful wanton and malicious destruction of the property of others

verdict ; finding of fact
(law) the findings of a jury on issues of fact submitted to it for decision; can be used in formulating a judgment

veto
a vote that blocks a decision

victim
an unfortunate person who suffers from some adverse circumstance

violate
fail to agree with; be in violation of; as of rules or patterns; "This sentence violates the rules of syntax"


W
will
a fixed and persistent intent or purpose; "where there's a will there's a way"

will ; testament
a legal document declaring a person's wishes regarding the disposal of their property when they die

witness
someone who sees an event and reports what happened

worth
the quality that renders something desirable or valuable or useful

writ ; judicial writ
(law) a legal document issued by a court or judicial officer

wrong ; incorrect
not correct; not in conformity with fact or truth; "an incorrect calculation"; "the report in the paper is wrong"; "your information is wrong"; "the clock showed the wrong time"; "found themselves on the wrong road"; "based on the wrong assumptions"

wrong ; wrongfulness
that which is contrary to the principles of justice or law; "he feels that you are in the wrong"


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