Definition of blue law in US English:

blue law

noun

North American
  • 1A law prohibiting certain activities, such as shopping, on a Sunday.

    • ‘Then why has the group voiced opposition to repealing Colorado's blue law that closes liquor stores on Sunday?’
    • ‘Even as wine shipments appear to be opening, the NY retail scene remains uncompetitive because of blue laws.’
    • ‘My friend points me to the following article about how the state may relax its blue laws and allow cities to permit selling alcohol on Sundays.’
    • ‘Shorter workdays became more important than rest on Sunday, and American courts and society found practically any commercial activity to be a necessity and thus exempt from blue laws.’
    • ‘Not surprisingly, many critics chafed at this populist behavior and attempted to regulate it through a variety of blue laws, fees, and restrictions.’
    1. 1.1 (in colonial New England) a strict religious law, particularly one preventing entertainment or leisure activities on a Sunday.
      • ‘I would rather have the people of the state to know at the beginning that my policy will be broad, philanthropic and for the best interest of all concerned, and that no sumptuary or blue laws of New England will ever find a place in my administration.’
      • ‘He says ‘yes,’ but Massachusetts' Attorney General says no - and is enforcing his state's old blue law against the markets.’
      • ‘The club was one of the many after-hours drinking clubs that dotted the streets of Philadelphia in the days when the old blue laws were still on the books.’
      • ‘The blue laws of New England forbade the playing of cards and other common games on the Sabbath.’

Pronunciation

blue law

/ˈblo͞o ˌlô//ˈblu ˌlɔ/