Definition of statute in English:



  • 1A written law passed by a legislative body.

    ‘violation of the hate crimes statute’
    ‘the tax is not specifically disallowed by statute’
    • ‘It is not entirely clear from this paper, it may be clear from the original: is this form of lease prescribed by statute or regulation?’
    • ‘Rules are written to reflect the statutes passed in legislation.’
    • ‘It is one thing to prosecute to conviction and to take positive steps authorised by statute to confiscate the proceeds of crime from the convicted defendant.’
    • ‘With this strong new federal interpretation of the act, states may now be able to add language to their own rules and statutes regarding state's control of exotic species.’
    • ‘In my judgment, that argument does less than justice to the fact that the review procedure is provided for by statute.’
    • ‘That seemingly innocuous statute implicitly included rules for classification and censorship.’
    • ‘Thus statutes were passed with the object of giving landlords a return sufficient to induce them to make accommodation available.’
    • ‘Congress has passed statutes making a defendant pay the fee of a plaintiff's lawyer if the plaintiff prevails in the case.’
    • ‘The jurisdiction to stay, although introduced by statute in the field of arbitration agreements, is in origin an equitable remedy.’
    • ‘You can have a common law in the statute, I suppose, in some loose sense.’
    • ‘The provision or the ability to suspend a sentence is provided by statute.’
    • ‘We have precisely the same structure - a monopolistic, representation body endorsed by statute.’
    • ‘The principles relating to interpretation of statutes require that the words of a statute be given the meaning which they bore at the time the statute was passed.’
    • ‘However the issue is decided by construction of the section of the statute not the common law.’
    • ‘What I am saying is there may be a difference conceptually in placing a limitation on jurisdiction conferred by statute?’
    • ‘In reading the objectives, instructions and guidance the court is not construing a statute, or even subordinate legislation.’
    • ‘Parts 2 and 3 dealing with statutes and rules are already available in the market at lower prices.’
    • ‘It is not suggested in the present case that there was any liability for failure to exercise this power, either under the statute or at common law.’
    • ‘In choosing between these submissions we must first remind ourselves of the relevant provisions of statute and subordinate legislation.’
    • ‘But in all other contexts in ordinary criminal appellate statutes with which this country is familiar, what the jury did may not be ignored.’
    law, regulation, enactment, act, bill, decree, edict, rule, ruling, resolution, promulgation, measure, motion, dictum, command, order, stipulation, commandment, directive, pronouncement, ratification, proclamation, dictate, diktat, fiat, covenant, demand, by-law
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A rule of an organization or institution.
      ‘the appointment will be subject to the statutes of the university’
      • ‘Indeed, it seems certain that the major Catholic institutions are not going to change their by-laws or statutes to accommodate the requirements for the mandate.’
      • ‘There may be the rare exception, such as a working sheep dog, which could fall within the statute, but the exception only proves the rule.’
      • ‘The Allies drafted a statute that laid out the rules for trial procedure and defined the crimes to be tried.’
      • ‘Thirty-eight states revised and re-enacted their death penalty laws after the 1972 Court ruling that all but a few capital statutes were unconstitutional.’
      • ‘Many states have statutes or administrative rules about some specific content to be required in medical records, and these can and must be tailored into any CBE system.’
      • ‘Practice standards also can establish restrictions through statutes, rules, or both, on the practice of an occupation with the use of special enforcement.’
      • ‘He worked hard to reform the statutes of Cambridge University and, when the Government set up a Commission to propose reforms, he was appointed to it.’
      • ‘Both sides claim the backing of World Trade Organization statutes for their positions.’
      • ‘They claimed members were not given prior notice and the university's academic council must be consulted before the governing body can make changes to university statutes.’
      • ‘Today, they are marketing themselves as ‘financial cooperatives,’ even though they are organized under different statutes.’
      • ‘The founding meeting approved a statute and leadership of the organisation, banker Emil Hursev told journalists.’
      • ‘Parliament's own rules - though not statute - give the courts that much consideration.’
      • ‘Alexander, disliking harsh measures, in 1863 approved a new set of university statutes.’
      • ‘Similar to the Asquith Colleges, they were governed by French university statutes, and the staff members were accorded the rights of French academics.’
      • ‘This language suggests that a state legislature could even ignore the results of a presidential election conducted under its own rules - the very statutes it enacted.’
      • ‘Gone were the smothering rules and statutes of the Church.’
      • ‘The powers bestowed by this statute are completely unlimited, restricted by no law or institution.’
      • ‘Most custom is supported by statutes of organizations, churches, or clubs, if not guaranteed by the state.’
      • ‘By ruling the statute unconstitutional, the decision affects every county in New Jersey.’
      • ‘Ironically, it appeared to have no effect on the organisation's statutes or policy positions.’
    2. 1.2archaic (in biblical use) a law or decree made by a sovereign, or by God.
      • ‘‘I incline my heart to perform Thy statutes,’ is a verse that occurs in several forms in the psalm.’


Middle English: from Old French statut, from late Latin statutum, neuter past participle of Latin statuere ‘set up’ from status ‘standing’ (see status).