Definition of statute in English:


Pronunciation /ˈstatʃuːt//ˈstatjuːt/


  • 1A written law passed by a legislative body:

    ‘the Act consolidated statutes dealing with non-fatal offences’
    [mass noun] ‘immunities granted to trade unions by statute’
    • ‘Parts 2 and 3 dealing with statutes and rules are already available in the market at lower prices.’
    • ‘You can have a common law in the statute, I suppose, in some loose sense.’
    • ‘But in all other contexts in ordinary criminal appellate statutes with which this country is familiar, what the jury did may not be ignored.’
    • ‘The provision or the ability to suspend a sentence is provided by statute.’
    • ‘Congress has passed statutes making a defendant pay the fee of a plaintiff's lawyer if the plaintiff prevails in the case.’
    • ‘The jurisdiction to stay, although introduced by statute in the field of arbitration agreements, is in origin an equitable remedy.’
    • ‘In my judgment, that argument does less than justice to the fact that the review procedure is provided for by statute.’
    • ‘What I am saying is there may be a difference conceptually in placing a limitation on jurisdiction conferred by statute?’
    • ‘The principles relating to interpretation of statutes require that the words of a statute be given the meaning which they bore at the time the statute was passed.’
    • ‘However the issue is decided by construction of the section of the statute not the common law.’
    • ‘In choosing between these submissions we must first remind ourselves of the relevant provisions of statute and subordinate legislation.’
    • ‘Thus statutes were passed with the object of giving landlords a return sufficient to induce them to make accommodation available.’
    • ‘Rules are written to reflect the statutes passed in legislation.’
    • ‘That seemingly innocuous statute implicitly included rules for classification and censorship.’
    • ‘With this strong new federal interpretation of the act, states may now be able to add language to their own rules and statutes regarding state's control of exotic species.’
    • ‘We have precisely the same structure - a monopolistic, representation body endorsed by statute.’
    • ‘It is not suggested in the present case that there was any liability for failure to exercise this power, either under the statute or at common law.’
    • ‘In reading the objectives, instructions and guidance the court is not construing a statute, or even subordinate legislation.’
    • ‘It is one thing to prosecute to conviction and to take positive steps authorised by statute to confiscate the proceeds of crime from the convicted defendant.’
    • ‘It is not entirely clear from this paper, it may be clear from the original: is this form of lease prescribed by statute or regulation?’
    law, regulation, enactment, act, bill, decree, edict, rule, ruling, resolution, promulgation, measure, motion, dictum, command, order, stipulation, commandment, directive, pronouncement, ratification, proclamation, dictate, diktat, fiat, covenant, demand, by-law
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    1. 1.1 A rule of an organization or institution:
      ‘the appointment will be subject to the statutes of the university’
      • ‘Both sides claim the backing of World Trade Organization statutes for their positions.’
      • ‘By ruling the statute unconstitutional, the decision affects every county in New Jersey.’
      • ‘Many states have statutes or administrative rules about some specific content to be required in medical records, and these can and must be tailored into any CBE system.’
      • ‘Practice standards also can establish restrictions through statutes, rules, or both, on the practice of an occupation with the use of special enforcement.’
      • ‘Similar to the Asquith Colleges, they were governed by French university statutes, and the staff members were accorded the rights of French academics.’
      • ‘The Allies drafted a statute that laid out the rules for trial procedure and defined the crimes to be tried.’
      • ‘Today, they are marketing themselves as ‘financial cooperatives,’ even though they are organized under different statutes.’
      • ‘The founding meeting approved a statute and leadership of the organisation, banker Emil Hursev told journalists.’
      • ‘Alexander, disliking harsh measures, in 1863 approved a new set of university statutes.’
      • ‘Parliament's own rules - though not statute - give the courts that much consideration.’
      • ‘Gone were the smothering rules and statutes of the Church.’
      • ‘The powers bestowed by this statute are completely unlimited, restricted by no law or institution.’
      • ‘Thirty-eight states revised and re-enacted their death penalty laws after the 1972 Court ruling that all but a few capital statutes were unconstitutional.’
      • ‘There may be the rare exception, such as a working sheep dog, which could fall within the statute, but the exception only proves the rule.’
      • ‘Most custom is supported by statutes of organizations, churches, or clubs, if not guaranteed by the state.’
      • ‘This language suggests that a state legislature could even ignore the results of a presidential election conducted under its own rules - the very statutes it enacted.’
      • ‘They claimed members were not given prior notice and the university's academic council must be consulted before the governing body can make changes to university statutes.’
      • ‘Ironically, it appeared to have no effect on the organisation's statutes or policy positions.’
      • ‘Indeed, it seems certain that the major Catholic institutions are not going to change their by-laws or statutes to accommodate the requirements for the mandate.’
      • ‘He worked hard to reform the statutes of Cambridge University and, when the Government set up a Commission to propose reforms, he was appointed to it.’
    2. 1.2archaic (in biblical use) a law or decree made by a sovereign, or by God.
      • ‘‘I incline my heart to perform Thy statutes,’ is a verse that occurs in several forms in the psalm.’


Middle English: from Old French statut, from late Latin statutum, neuter past participle of Latin statuere set up from status standing (see status).