Meaning of lay down the law in English:

lay down the law

See synonyms for lay down the law


  • Issue instructions to other people in an authoritative or dogmatic way.

    ‘I am not attempting to lay down the law, but simply wish to voice my opinion’
    • ‘She'll lay down the law on headline issues and take your calls.’
    • ‘He has gone for ground rules rather than laying down the law.’
    • ‘In the wake of the elections, media owners have wasted no time in laying down the law to the incoming government, demanding lower business costs and taxes.’
    • ‘While the details of the proceedings were not made public, there is no doubt that Bolton attempted to lay down the law.’
    • ‘Whether or not the Minister and the Government has the right to lay down the law for a sporting body like this is another question and very much open to debate.’
    • ‘If even the greatest writers are not bound by the rules and we have no academy to lay down the law, who is to decide what is acceptable and what is not?’
    • ‘Tonight, TV's No.1 judge lays down the law on family squabbles.’
    • ‘He said: ‘It made us realise that listening to each other and negotiation is better than confrontation and laying down the law.’’
    • ‘Democrats should see regulating the labor market to keep the big fish from eating the little fish as a modern parallel to laying down the law on Wall Street after 1929.’
    • ‘Whatever difficulties or problems arise in terms of schooling in the future are best dealt with not by people laying down the law but by people listening to each other's needs.’
    order someone around, order someone about, tell someone what to do, boss someone about, boss someone around, ride roughshod over someone, be dogmatic, be domineering
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