Definition of legality in US English:



  • 1The quality or state of being in accordance with the law.

    ‘documentation testifying to the legality of the arms sale’
    • ‘There has been a bit of debate about the overall legality of the cameras.’
    • ‘The legality and legitimacy of that action must be subject to judicial review.’
    • ‘He says that he was late for a meeting last December at which the practice and its legality was discussed.’
    • ‘The union successfully defended a challenge to its legality by Wandsworth Council in the High Court.’
    • ‘But he said that the overall legality of the war was outside the jurisdiction of the Crown Court.’
    • ‘The legality of what they do must be subject to review by independent and impartial tribunals.’
    • ‘Moreover, it is not my role to challenge the legality of every substantive decision on the part of the Council.’
    • ‘He had only been given a later assurance of legality, which contained none of the caveats.’
    • ‘This is not merely a question of credibility, but of morality and of legality.’
    • ‘He said that the legality of the activities of Betting Exchanges was a separate issue to determining the Scheme.’
    • ‘In some ways the need for legality hampers the intelligence services.’
    • ‘The legality of many actions taken during the settlement of the country was dubious at best.’
    • ‘As we saw in greater detail in Chapter 2, questions of legality and morality must be kept separate.’
    • ‘What we have here is a blatant undermining of the system under the cover of legality.’
    • ‘In each of these jobs Nora was never asked for documentation of legality or social security number.’
    • ‘One area where there has been much debate is the legality of testing for HIV without an explicit consent.’
    • ‘The legality of this practice is a hotly debated topic among many currency chain performers.’
    • ‘There is no provision for judicial determination of the legality of detention.’
    • ‘Licensees and police are awaiting clarification on the scheme's legality.’
    • ‘As has been noted, the legality of their actions can be challenged in public law by applications for judicial review.’
    lawfulness, legitimacy, legitimateness, licitness, validity, rightness, rightfulness, soundness, admissibility, admissibleness, permissibility, constitutionality
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1legalities Obligations imposed by law.
      • ‘I still do not quite understand all of the legalities behind this.’
      • ‘I don't know the legalities, but I expect that any informal verbal contract would implicitly include something similar.’
      • ‘Talk to a temporary agency about your needs, and also speak with a lawyer about the various legalities involved in hiring temporary employees.’
      • ‘There are very narrow, well-tailored grounds for review that relate to the legalities of the decision but they do not relate to the merits of the decision.’
      • ‘Stokes's wife, Valeria, a human-resources executive, tutors him on the legalities of hiring.’
      • ‘He said the legalities surrounding Horsfall were one of several factors under consideration.’
      • ‘A recent court case forced him to travel into the dangerous and uncharted territory of the legalities and complexities of copyright.’
      • ‘And I'm in no position to comment on the legalities of the situation.’
      • ‘What really affects the federal and state governments is the issue of inheritance, money, property, and any other legalities involved.’
      • ‘Because intellectual property issues involve legalities constructed by those in power, people are forced to play by those rules.’
      • ‘Questions of legalities and technicalities, however, are not the only obstacles in the speedy resolutions of moves to unseat him.’
      • ‘I'll have to discuss the legalities with your city's police department but I doubt they'll disagree.’
      • ‘Because that trial was still pending at the time, she couldn't discuss the facts of the case or the specifics of the legalities.’
      • ‘As Deva says, it acts as a way to define in legal terms the relationship of two people, with implications for tax, legalities, immigration and so on.’
      • ‘The issue has remained confined to Craven so far with Bradford Council saying it would look into the legalities of the issue if roads involved were classified as part of the highway.’
      • ‘Father Michael expressed concern over not allowing legalities to defeat the intent of providing human rights assistance to these children.’
      • ‘Vows recited in a church or garden or on a mountaintop are separate from the legalities of marriage.’
      • ‘The new law was announced at the end of last July and provincial officials have closely scrutinized the full meaning of the legalities involved.’
      • ‘In many ancient cultures, the legalities of marriage were formed to ensure the well being of any children brought forth by the union.’
      • ‘And what are narrow legalities and nitpicking ethics rules among friends?’


Late Middle English: from French légalité or medieval Latin legalitas ‘relating to the law’, from Latin legalis (see legal).