adjective

  • 1attributive Of, based on, or concerned with the law.

    ‘the American legal system’
    • ‘What's important we think is that this is a decision based on legal principle.’
    • ‘The legal system is based on modified Roman law, with strong protection for the rights of the accused.’
    • ‘Local ordinances and acts apply on the island, where most laws are based on the Australian legal system.’
    • ‘But many of her opinions and votes have had a dramatic impact on the American legal system.’
    • ‘Mrs Collins has lodged an official complaint with the firm and is considering seeking legal advice.’
    • ‘Many lenders give incentives to switchers, such as help with valuation fees and legal expenses.’
    • ‘He loves the legal environment and is fascinated by the American legal system.’
    • ‘Ms Ray, 53, is now seeking legal advice with a view to seeking compensation from Channel 4 and Ramsay.’
    • ‘The challenge to the Decision is based on two legal foundations.’
    • ‘It used to be impossible to prove that the legal system produces wrongful convictions.’
    • ‘‘We will take legal advice but the appeal process can be very lengthy and expensive,’ he said.’
    • ‘The Claim Form bases no legal conclusion on this statement.’
    • ‘Peter Ball, who represents residents in the Blackfriars area, strongly denies the claims and has sought legal advice.’
    • ‘This is a long and costly process that usually requires a legal firm.’
    • ‘The failure of our legal system to take this question seriously in any systematic way is troubling.’
    • ‘The reason is that our modern, Westminster-style legal system is based not on justice, but on laws.’
    • ‘Please note that advice is given without legal responsibility’
    • ‘Sir Rabbie is indicating it may turn out to be the only way to provide both sides with the legal framework they require.’
    • ‘The native legal system existed in its fullness before the ninth century.’
    • ‘VanLester's cases highlight a somewhat different problem for the legal system.’
    • ‘Texas's public defence system which provides legal advice for those who can't afford it, is notorious for its abysmal standards.’
    • ‘The Korean legal system is based on a civil law system that was developed from the education system.’
    • ‘It was non-statutory and did not have legal powers to require individuals to supply evidence or attend.’
    • ‘He declined to name them but said he advised the officials to seek legal advice and to speak with their insurers.’
    • ‘After further legal advice, the council chief executive, David Atkinson, agreed the motion could be discussed.’
    • ‘But Finnie rejected both calls by quoting the legal advice he had been given by Scottish Executive civil servants.’
    • ‘The paper presents several such studies, some of which have direct bearing on the legal system.’
    • ‘That is a difficult question, and its difficulty results from a deep ambiguity in our legal system.’
    • ‘Indeed it is good for the legal system to acquit the innocent and convict the guilty.’
    • ‘The reasons submitted by the plaintiff for denying costs to the defendant are not based on any legal principle.’
    • ‘This was no doubt the expensive legal advice it was given.’
    • ‘He says the legal system is becoming increasingly concerned with political life.’
    • ‘In light of this legal reality, the Attorney General's failure to prosecute is outrageous.’
    • ‘Over the past two years, a weekly drop-in centre with access to legal advice and translation services has been set up at a local community centre.’
    • ‘The meeting was adjourned for more than half-an-hour with the public excluded while the panel sought legal advice over the claim.’
    • ‘An economy based on contracts requires a dependable legal framework, and a society based on free contracts must to that extent be a free society.’
    • ‘When he got sued a few years ago, he invited people to contribute to his legal fees by sending him some personal details and some money, and he would write a song about them.’
    • ‘But he has ended up with thousands of pounds worth of legal fees.’
    • ‘Like most of Latin America, Chile inherited an inquisitorial legal system from Spain.’
    • ‘Regulars in a Westbury pub are backing a landlord's bid to overturn the decision to revoke his late licence by contributing towards legal fees.’
    judiciary, juridical, judicatory, forensic, jurisdictive
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Appointed or required by the law.
      ‘a legal requirement’
      • ‘He says Walmex simply keeps the contracts on hand to meet legal requirements.’
      • ‘There is no legal requirement to register as a charity, nor is any agency charged with maintaining such a register.’
      • ‘Sofia City Court denied the newly formed movement party registration on grounds of failure to meet legal requirements.’
      • ‘You should get your independent contractor agreement in writing, although that is not a legal requirement.’
      • ‘The only way to encourage such a process is raising the legal requirement for the size of banks' capital.’
      • ‘It is a legal requirement that all competitors and their boatmen wear a life jacket.’
      • ‘Presently car owners have the right to go where they please, even into the centre of York provided they and their vehicles meet legal requirements.’
      • ‘There is no legal requirement to do so as the firms cannot avail of limited liability status.’
      • ‘The way in which legal requirements hinder police getting the job done may be another.’
      • ‘The draft laws also impose stricter legal and administrative requirements for new parties to be eligible for the elections.’
      • ‘Oh sure, it's a legal requirement for someone such as me who is a contractor.’
      • ‘Complaints requiring legal action will be forwarded to the Ministry of Justice.’
      • ‘All farms registered under the scheme must reach and maintain a level of compliance which far exceeds the legal requirements.’
      • ‘Once that decision is made, airlines will then have a year to put their houses in order, before the new legal requirements come into force.’
      • ‘He said he had complied at all times with the Commissions' legal requirements.’
      • ‘As for the legal requirements a Specialised Bureau for Customers Identification was established with the bank.’
      • ‘These companies have a legal requirement to tell us they are meeting quality standards.’
      • ‘The other vehicles in its fleet do not meet the legal requirements and in effect should not be allowed on the road.’
      • ‘But Mrs Rutins said it was a legal requirement for all councillors to be supplied with the correct information.’
      • ‘They claim its contrary to the trust's legal requirements.’
      judicial, juridical, jurisdictive, judicatory, forensic
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Law Recognized by common or statutory law, as distinct from equity.
      • ‘Certainly, the appellant does not bear any moral, as distinct from legal, responsibility for what occurred.’
      • ‘26 Women were more likely to turn to equity courts than common law ones for legal resolution.’
      • ‘Any moral distinction between the two modes is surely too slender to justify legal recognition.’
      • ‘It's crazy to argue that we're ever going to get significant legal change from common law courts.’
      • ‘It also enables legal recognition to be given to a broad range of family structures and relationships.’
    3. 1.3 Relating to theological legalism.
      • ‘Is is legal to work by healing on the Sabbath day?’
      • ‘The Torah comprises the first five books and contains a mixture of narratives and legal texts.’
  • 2Permitted by law.

    ‘he claimed that it had all been legal’
    • ‘He says one of the main aims in producing the pills was to provide people with a safe and legal alternative to illegal drugs.’
    • ‘Until the late 19th century, all kinds of recreational drugs were legal throughout the Western world.’
    • ‘Researchers told a group of top athletes they were taking a legal drug that is known to boost performance and allow them to run faster.’
    • ‘Alcohol is, of course, a legal and socially acceptable drug, even though it may actually be more harmful to the body than some of the illegal drugs.’
    • ‘I talk to a Bronx priest who argues that life would be better if drugs were legal.’
    • ‘By far the most dangerous drugs are legal, with alcohol and tobacco, accounting for 150,000 deaths every year.’
    • ‘The same applies to illicit drug use or dangerous levels of consumption of alcohol or legal mood-altering drugs.’
    • ‘He contends the rules for marijuana should be the same as for legal drugs and should place the onus on the individual.’
    • ‘Many were introduced to alcohol, legal and illegal drugs at tender ages.’
    • ‘The number of workers required for a legal strike to go ahead is often too high.’
    • ‘For example, an official resident permit is still required for legal residence and work in Moscow.’
    • ‘Is it legal to sell prescription drugs through multi-level marketing?’
    • ‘The government have the proof of the dangers of smoking, yet this is a legal drug.’
    • ‘Who would have thought legal drugs could ever be so dangerous?’
    • ‘I guess it's something about the combination of low taxes and legal drugs that strikes their fancy.’
    • ‘In other words, the big killers in Scotland are the legal drugs - tobacco and alcohol.’
    • ‘It is a legal drug and it can be used as a substitute for heroin.’
    • ‘Prozac is legal as a controlled drug given on prescription for depression.’
    • ‘When we debated the legalisation of drugs, he sai that he believed all drugs should be legal.’
    • ‘Can someone explain to me why on earth an institution of higher learning is involved in the peddling of the last legal drug?’
    lawful, legitimate, licit, within the law, legalized, valid
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  • 3US (of paper) measuring 8 ½ by 14 inches.

    • ‘Sudler handed Mr Cool a sheet of yellow legal paper and sauntered out.’
    • ‘When he saw something of note, he scrawled it on a folded up piece of yellow legal paper he kept in his coat pocket.’
    • ‘The deed was on posh legal paper.’

Origin

Late Middle English (in the sense ‘to do with Mosaic law’): from French, or from Latin legalis, from lex, leg- ‘law’. Compare with loyal.

Pronunciation

legal

/ˈliɡəl//ˈlēɡəl/