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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Lawful'

Lawful Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    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: orderly, rule-governed]
  3. having a legally established claim; "the legitimate heir"; "the true and lawful king" [syn: true(a), rightful(a)]
  4. authorized, sanctioned by, or in accordance with law; "a legitimate government" [syn: legitimate, licit]
Lawful Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Lawful \Law"ful\, a.
  1. Conformable to law; allowed by law; legitimate; competent.
  2. Constituted or authorized by law; rightful; as, the lawful owner of lands. Lawful age, the age when the law recognizes one's right of independent action; majority; -- generally the age of twenty-one years.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Lawful'


Legal systems elaborate rights and responsibilities in a variety of ways. A general distinction can be made between civil law jurisdictions, which codify their laws, and common law systems, where judge made law is not consolidated. In some countries, religion informs the law. Law provides a rich source of scholarly inquiry, into legal history, philosophy, economic analysis or sociology. Law also raises important and complex issues concerning equality, fairness and justice. "In its majestic equality", said the author Anatole France in 1894, "the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread." In a typical democracy, the central institutions for interpreting and creating law are the three main branches of government, namely an impartial judiciary, a democratic legislature, and an accountable executive. To implement and enforce the law and provide services to the public, a government's bureaucracy, the military and police are vital. While all these organs of the state are creatures created and bound by law, an independent legal profession and a vibrant civil society inform and support their progress.

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'Lawful' in famous quotation sentence

* It is now quite lawful for a Catholic woman to avoid pregnancy by a resort to mathematics, though she is still forbidden to resort to physics or chemistry. - H.L. Mencken

* The right of bearing arms for a lawful purpose is not a right granted by the Constitution neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. - U.S. vs Cruikshan

* All ambitions are lawful except those which climb upward on the miseries or credulities of mankind. - William Congreve

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