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’
    • ‘In such cases, it will be easier to establish that the detention was lawful.’
    • ‘Reasonableness is essentially a basis for resolving competing claims where otherwise lawful activities conflict.’
    • ‘I don't think it's a good idea to upgrade terrorists into lawful combatants.’
    • ‘However, it would still be perfectly lawful for the British state to simply declare him immune from prosecution.’
    • ‘Or are people noticing that lawful dissidents are also being arrested?’
    • ‘But we'll do our best to make it as lawful as possible.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The law is absolutely clear: the Bill treats smacking as lawful and reasonable chastisement.’
    • ‘From the beginning, the United States Constitution recognized capital punishment as lawful.’
    • ‘The demolition of the Goods Yard may be perfectly lawful.’
    • ‘They would constitute serious assaults if carried out without consent, or specific lawful authority.’
    • ‘But this simply raises the question: why was lawful conduct abandoned in the first place?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Silence or mere lack of objection does not constitute a lawful waiver.’
    • ‘He also has two convictions for detaining a child without lawful authority, she said.’
    • ‘Can our motives taint our otherwise lawful acts of ownership?’
    • ‘"Customers have nothing to fear if they earned their money from lawful business activities.’
    • ‘Paramilitary operatives do not meet any of the prerequisites necessary to be considered lawful combatants.’
    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/