Definition of lawful in US English:

lawful

adjective

  • 1Conforming to, permitted by, or recognized by law or rules.

    ‘it is an offense to carry a weapon in public without lawful authority’
    • ‘The demolition of the Goods Yard may be perfectly lawful.’
    • ‘Silence or mere lack of objection does not constitute a lawful waiver.’
    • ‘Or are people noticing that lawful dissidents are also being arrested?’
    • ‘His reasons for not doing so do not provide him with a lawful excuse.’
    • ‘But regime change could result from action that is otherwise lawful.’
    • ‘Can our motives taint our otherwise lawful acts of ownership?’
    • ‘The first question is whether the detention is lawful under domestic law.’
    • ‘In fact, English law renders an arrest lawful if the police officer has reasonable grounds for suspicion.’
    • ‘Paramilitary operatives do not meet any of the prerequisites necessary to be considered lawful combatants.’
    • ‘However, it would still be perfectly lawful for the British state to simply declare him immune from prosecution.’
    • ‘In such cases, it will be easier to establish that the detention was lawful.’
    • ‘The law is absolutely clear: the Bill treats smacking as lawful and reasonable chastisement.’
    • ‘But this simply raises the question: why was lawful conduct abandoned in the first place?’
    • ‘He also has two convictions for detaining a child without lawful authority, she said.’
    • ‘They would constitute serious assaults if carried out without consent, or specific lawful authority.’
    • ‘Reasonableness is essentially a basis for resolving competing claims where otherwise lawful activities conflict.’
    • ‘From the beginning, the United States Constitution recognized capital punishment as lawful.’
    • ‘"Customers have nothing to fear if they earned their money from lawful business activities.’
    • ‘I don't think it's a good idea to upgrade terrorists into lawful combatants.’
    • ‘But we'll do our best to make it as lawful as possible.’
    legitimate, legal, licit, just, permissible, permitted, allowable, allowed, rightful, proper, constitutional, legalized, sanctioned, authorized, warranted, justified, justifiable, approved, recognized, admissible, above board, within the law, going by the rules
    law-abiding, righteous, honourable, good, decent, proper, solid, virtuous, moral, ethical, orderly, well behaved, peacekeeping, peaceful, civilized, dutiful, duteous, obedient, compliant, complying, disciplined
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1dated (of a child) born within a lawful marriage.

Pronunciation

lawful

/ˈlɔfəl//ˈlôfəl/