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[law-uh-bahy-ding] /ˈlɔ əˌbaɪ dɪŋ/
obeying or keeping the law; obedient to law:
law-abiding citizens.
Origin of law-abiding
First recorded in 1830-40
Related forms
law-abidingness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for law-abiding
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The latter of the two, the dance of peace, is suitable to orderly and law-abiding men.

    Laws Plato
  • I was mad clean through, but I'm law-abiding, generally speaking.

    Cape Cod Stories Joseph C. Lincoln
  • He regarded his duty as a man, and not as a law-abiding citizen.

    The Golden Woman Ridgwell Cullum
  • As for the latter, these are Dacotahs—one of the most law-abiding tribes.

    The Fiery Totem Argyll Saxby
  • The inhabitants are law-abiding and crimes of violence are very rare.

    The Hawaiian Islands The Department of Foreign Affairs
British Dictionary definitions for law-abiding


adhering more or less strictly to the laws: a law-abiding citizen
Derived Forms
law-abidingness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for law-abiding

1839, from law + abiding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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