Definition of lay down the law in English:

lay down the law

phrase

  • 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’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Tonight, TV's No.1 judge lays down the law on family squabbles.’
    • ‘While the details of the proceedings were not made public, there is no doubt that Bolton attempted to lay down the law.’
    • ‘He has gone for ground rules rather than laying down the law.’
    • ‘He said: ‘It made us realise that listening to each other and negotiation is better than confrontation and laying down the law.’’
    • ‘She'll lay down the law on headline issues and take your calls.’
    order someone about, order someone around, tell someone what to do, boss someone about, boss someone around, ride roughshod over someone, be dogmatic, be domineering
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