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’
    • ‘I don't think it's a good idea to upgrade terrorists into lawful combatants.’
    • ‘The demolition of the Goods Yard may be perfectly lawful.’
    • ‘Can our motives taint our otherwise lawful acts of ownership?’
    • ‘His reasons for not doing so do not provide him with a lawful excuse.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They would constitute serious assaults if carried out without consent, or specific lawful authority.’
    • ‘He also has two convictions for detaining a child without lawful authority, she said.’
    • ‘Paramilitary operatives do not meet any of the prerequisites necessary to be considered lawful combatants.’
    • ‘Silence or mere lack of objection does not constitute a lawful waiver.’
    • ‘However, it would still be perfectly lawful for the British state to simply declare him immune from prosecution.’
    • ‘But we'll do our best to make it as lawful as possible.’
    • ‘In fact, English law renders an arrest lawful if the police officer has reasonable grounds for suspicion.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In such cases, it will be easier to establish that the detention was lawful.’
    • ‘Or are people noticing that lawful dissidents are also being arrested?’
    • ‘The first question is whether the detention is lawful under domestic law.’
    • ‘"Customers have nothing to fear if they earned their money from lawful business activities.’
    • ‘But this simply raises the question: why was lawful conduct abandoned in the first place?’
    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/