Definition of legal in English:

legal

Pronunciation /ˈlēɡəl/ /ˈliɡəl/

See synonyms for legal

Translate legal into Spanish

adjective

  • 1attributive Of, based on, or concerned with the law.

    ‘the American legal system’
    • ‘Indeed it is good for the legal system to acquit the innocent and convict the guilty.’
    • ‘It used to be impossible to prove that the legal system produces wrongful convictions.’
    • ‘He says the legal system is becoming increasingly concerned with political life.’
    • ‘The Korean legal system is based on a civil law system that was developed from the education system.’
    • ‘What's important we think is that this is a decision based on legal principle.’
    • ‘He loves the legal environment and is fascinated by the American legal system.’
    • ‘But many of her opinions and votes have had a dramatic impact on the American legal system.’
    • ‘Like most of Latin America, Chile inherited an inquisitorial legal system from Spain.’
    • ‘Local ordinances and acts apply on the island, where most laws are based on the Australian legal system.’
    • ‘The native legal system existed in its fullness before the ninth century.’
    • ‘The reasons submitted by the plaintiff for denying costs to the defendant are not based on any legal principle.’
    • ‘VanLester's cases highlight a somewhat different problem for the legal system.’
    • ‘In light of this legal reality, the Attorney General's failure to prosecute is outrageous.’
    • ‘The reason is that our modern, Westminster-style legal system is based not on justice, but on laws.’
    • ‘The challenge to the Decision is based on two legal foundations.’
    • ‘The Claim Form bases no legal conclusion on this statement.’
    • ‘An economy based on contracts requires a dependable legal framework, and a society based on free contracts must to that extent be a free society.’
    • ‘Sir Rabbie is indicating it may turn out to be the only way to provide both sides with the legal framework they require.’
    • ‘This is a long and costly process that usually requires a legal firm.’
    • ‘It was non-statutory and did not have legal powers to require individuals to supply evidence or attend.’
    legal, judiciary, juridical, judicatory, forensic, jurisdictive
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    1. 1.1Appointed or required by the law.
      ‘a legal requirement’
      • ‘The other vehicles in its fleet do not meet the legal requirements and in effect should not be allowed on the road.’
      • ‘Complaints requiring legal action will be forwarded to the Ministry of Justice.’
      • ‘Oh sure, it's a legal requirement for someone such as me who is a contractor.’
      • ‘There is no legal requirement to register as a charity, nor is any agency charged with maintaining such a register.’
      • ‘You should get your independent contractor agreement in writing, although that is not a legal requirement.’
      • ‘All farms registered under the scheme must reach and maintain a level of compliance which far exceeds the legal requirements.’
      • ‘But Mrs Rutins said it was a legal requirement for all councillors to be supplied with the correct information.’
      • ‘Sofia City Court denied the newly formed movement party registration on grounds of failure to meet legal requirements.’
      • ‘As for the legal requirements a Specialised Bureau for Customers Identification was established with the bank.’
      • ‘Once that decision is made, airlines will then have a year to put their houses in order, before the new legal requirements come into force.’
      • ‘They claim its contrary to the trust's legal requirements.’
      • ‘He said he had complied at all times with the Commissions' legal requirements.’
      • ‘The only way to encourage such a process is raising the legal requirement for the size of banks' capital.’
      • ‘These companies have a legal requirement to tell us they are meeting quality standards.’
      • ‘It is a legal requirement that all competitors and their boatmen wear a life jacket.’
      • ‘There is no legal requirement to do so as the firms cannot avail of limited liability status.’
      • ‘The way in which legal requirements hinder police getting the job done may be another.’
      • ‘He says Walmex simply keeps the contracts on hand to meet legal requirements.’
      • ‘The draft laws also impose stricter legal and administrative requirements for new parties to be eligible for the elections.’
      • ‘Presently car owners have the right to go where they please, even into the centre of York provided they and their vehicles meet legal requirements.’
      judicial, juridical, jurisdictive, judicatory, forensic
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Law Recognized by common or statutory law, as distinct from equity.
      ‘26 Women were more likely to turn to equity courts than common law ones for legal resolution.’
      • ‘It's crazy to argue that we're ever going to get significant legal change from common law courts.’
      • ‘Certainly, the appellant does not bear any moral, as distinct from legal, responsibility for what occurred.’
      • ‘It also enables legal recognition to be given to a broad range of family structures and relationships.’
      • ‘Any moral distinction between the two modes is surely too slender to justify legal recognition.’
    3. 1.3Relating to theological legalism.
      ‘The Torah comprises the first five books and contains a mixture of narratives and legal texts.’
      • ‘Is is legal to work by healing on the Sabbath day?’
  • 2Permitted by law.

    ‘he claimed that it had all been legal’
    • ‘In other words, the big killers in Scotland are the legal drugs - tobacco and alcohol.’
    • ‘Alcohol is, of course, a legal and socially acceptable drug, even though it may actually be more harmful to the body than some of the illegal drugs.’
    • ‘By far the most dangerous drugs are legal, with alcohol and tobacco, accounting for 150,000 deaths every year.’
    • ‘Researchers told a group of top athletes they were taking a legal drug that is known to boost performance and allow them to run faster.’
    • ‘Until the late 19th century, all kinds of recreational drugs were legal throughout the Western world.’
    • ‘Who would have thought legal drugs could ever be so dangerous?’
    • ‘The same applies to illicit drug use or dangerous levels of consumption of alcohol or legal mood-altering drugs.’
    • ‘It is a legal drug and it can be used as a substitute for heroin.’
    • ‘Can someone explain to me why on earth an institution of higher learning is involved in the peddling of the last legal drug?’
    • ‘He contends the rules for marijuana should be the same as for legal drugs and should place the onus on the individual.’
    • ‘I guess it's something about the combination of low taxes and legal drugs that strikes their fancy.’
    • ‘He says one of the main aims in producing the pills was to provide people with a safe and legal alternative to illegal drugs.’
    • ‘Is it legal to sell prescription drugs through multi-level marketing?’
    • ‘Prozac is legal as a controlled drug given on prescription for depression.’
    • ‘When we debated the legalisation of drugs, he sai that he believed all drugs should be legal.’
    • ‘I talk to a Bronx priest who argues that life would be better if drugs were legal.’
    • ‘The government have the proof of the dangers of smoking, yet this is a legal drug.’
    • ‘Many were introduced to alcohol, legal and illegal drugs at tender ages.’
    • ‘The number of workers required for a legal strike to go ahead is often too high.’
    • ‘For example, an official resident permit is still required for legal residence and work in Moscow.’
    lawful, legitimate, licit, within the law, legalized, valid
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  • 3US (of paper) measuring 8 ½ by 14 inches.

    ‘a yellow legal pad’
    • ‘When he saw something of note, he scrawled it on a folded up piece of yellow legal paper he kept in his coat pocket.’
    • ‘Sudler handed Mr Cool a sheet of yellow legal paper and sauntered out.’
    • ‘The deed was on posh legal paper.’

Origin

Late Middle English (in the sense ‘to do with Mosaic law’): from French, or from Latin legalis, from lex, leg- ‘law’. Compare with loyal.