Legal Definition and Related Resources of Lawful

Meaning of Lawful

That which is warranted or authorized by law; not contrary or forbidden by law. Although there is a similarity between the words lawful and legal the principal distinction between the two is that the former contemplates the substance of law, the latter the form of law.

Lawful Alternative Definition

Legal; that which is not contrary to law; that which is sanctioned or permitted by law; that which is in accordance with law. 101 111. 215. The terms “lawful,” “unlawful,” and “illegal” are used with reference to that which is in its substance sanctioned or prohibited by the law. The tetrm “legal” is occasionally used with reference to matters of form alone. Thus, an oral agreement to convey land, though void by law, is not properly to be said to be unlawful, because there is no violation of law In making or in performing such an agreement; but It is said to be not legal, or not in lawful form, because the law will not enforce it, for want of that written evidence required in puch cases.

Synonyms of Lawful


  • according to fiat
  • according to law
  • allowable
  • allowed
  • authorized by law
  • conformable to law
  • conformable with the law
  • constitutional
  • established
  • in accordance with the law
  • in conformity to the law
  • inviolable
  • juridic
  • lawabiding
  • legal
  • legalized
  • legitimate
  • legitimus
  • licit
  • nomothetic
  • obedient
  • permissible
  • permitted
  • prescribed by law
  • proper
  • sanctioned
  • sanctioned by law
  • statutable
  • statutory
  • unprohibited
  • valid
  • warranted by law
  • within the law
  • Associated Concepts: lawful act
  • lawful age
  • lawful beneficiary
  • lawful business
  • lawful command
  • lawful custody
  • lawful damages
  • lawful entry
  • lawful heirs
  • lawful interest
  • lawful issue
  • lawful order
  • lawful possession
  • lawful process
  • lawful purpose
  • lawful representative
  • lawful use

Related Entries of Lawful in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for Lawful in the American Encyclopedia of Law, the Asian Encyclopedia of Law, the European Encyclopedia of Law, the UK Encyclopedia of Law or the Latin American and Spanish Encyclopedia of Law.

Lawful in Historical Law

You might be interested in the historical meaning of this term. Browse or search for Lawful in Historical Law in the Encyclopedia of Law.

Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

Search for legal acronyms and/or abbreviations containing Lawful in the Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms Dictionary.

Related Legal Terms

You might be also interested in these legal terms:

Mentioned in these terms

Assembly, Attach, Auditor, Blood Relationship, Broker, Commit, Conspiracy, Counterfeit, Curtesy, Detinue, Disturb, Disturbance, Escape, Executor De Son Tort, Force, Forcible Detainer, Found-in, Insurable Interest, Jurisdiction, , Justifiable, Justification, Killing By Misadventure, Legal, Legalization, Legatary, Legitimacy, Legitimate, Loyal, Manslaughter, Misfeasance, Murder, Non-conforming Use, Partner, Partnership, Piracy, Privateer, Prize Fight, Purchase, , Salary, Slander Of Title, Slander Per Se, Tenant, Tenant At Sufferance, Treasurer.


You might be interested in these references tools:

Resource Description
Lawful in the Dictionary Lawful in our legal dictionaries
Browse the Legal Thesaurus Find synonyms and related words of Lawful
Legal Maxims Maxims are established principles that jurists use as interpretive tools, invoked more frequently in international law
Legal Answers (Q&A) A community-driven knowledge creation process, of enduring value to a broad audience
Related topics Lawful in the World Encyclopedia of Law


This definition of Lawful is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This entry needs to be proofread.

Vocabularies (Semantic Web Information)


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Topic Map A group of names, occurrences and associations
Topic Tree A topic display format, showing the hierarchy
Sitemap Index Sitemap Index, including Taxonomies The URI of Lawful (more about URIs)

Lawful in the Dictionary of Law consisting of Judicial Definitions and Explanations of Words, Phrases and Maxims

In accordance with the law of the land; according to the law; permitted, sanctioned, or justified by law. “Lawful” properly implies a thing conformable to or enjoined by law; “Legal”, a thing in the form or after the manner of law or binding by law. A writ or warrant issuing from any court, under color of law, is a “legal” process however defective. See legal.

Note: This legal definition of Lawful in the Dictionary of Law (English and American Jurisprudence) is from 1893.


This term is an adjetive.

Etimology of Lawful

(You may find lawful at the world legal encyclopedia and the etimology of more terms).

c. 1300, laghful, “rightful, supported by law” (of sanctions, etc.); see law; this term is also a noun. + -ful. Meaning “allowed by law” is late 14c. Similar construction in Old Norse logfullr. Old English had lahlic. Related: Lawfully; lawfulness.



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