Definition of legalistic in English:



  • 1Adhering excessively to law or formula.

    ‘our conciliation process avoids an overly legalistic approach’
    ‘narrow legalistic definitions’
    • ‘Common phrasing is substituted for legalistic wording.’
    • ‘You have written me yet another unfriendly, legalistic letter.’
    • ‘They seemed to favor a protracted, multilateral and legalistic approach to international affairs.’
    • ‘There is a need for an educational rather than legalistic policy on student access to the Internet.’
    • ‘The latest draft agreement was unduly complicated and legalistic.’
    • ‘The police often applied their own standards - rather than legalistic ones - in deciding whether to arrest boys.’
    • ‘This is not to be taken as a recipe for a legalistic interpretation of the Convention.’
    • ‘They fail to understand why simply sending out a legalistic privacy brochure isn't enough to satisfy most consumers.’
    • ‘The system was supposed to replace the box-ticking, legalistic approach that dogged predecessors with a more flexible approach based on high-level principles.’
    • ‘Money dues lent themselves more easily to negotiation in detail, and so encouraged a more legalistic attitude towards relations between lords and tenants.’
    1. 1.1Theology Concerning adherence to moral law rather than to personal religious faith.
      ‘legalistic notions such as duty and obligation’
      • ‘The only discussion of Sufism is a dictionary reference to an "inner religion that is not legalistic."’
      • ‘As we should expect, given the legalistic form of his ethical theory, Kant's political thought is jurisprudential.’
      • ‘The Islamic legalistic notion of ijtihad is the historically accepted practice of reinterpreting the Qur'anic philosophy of human relations based on the political, educational, cultural, and economic norms of a specific era.’
      • ‘It is an easy matter to find self-identified Hindus and self-identified Muslims who share more significant religious beliefs with one another than either shares with many (ritualistic or legalistic) members of "their own" religions.’
      • ‘The book broke apart the puzzle pieces which he had spent decades clamping together into airtight legalistic arguments against God.’
      • ‘Stage Five is the social-contract legalistic orientation: adults adopt an essentially utilitarian moral point of view’