or bye·law



a standing rule governing the regulation of a corporation's or society's internal affairs.
a subsidiary law.
British. an ordinance of a municipality or community.

Nearby words

  1. byelovo,
  2. bygone,
  3. bygones,
  4. byke,
  5. bylane,
  6. byline,
  7. byliner,
  8. byng,
  9. byo,
  10. byob

Origin of bylaw

1325–75; by- + law1; replacing Middle English bilawe, equivalent to by town (< Scandinavian; compare Danish by) + lawe law Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bylaw

  • The motion was adopted, and the Parliamentary and Bylaw Committee were requested to prepare a petition against the scheme.

    Norfolk Annals|Charles Mackie
  • That Bylaw was not the offspring of a forecast, an intuition, it was certainly born of a sorrowful experience.

    Christian Science|Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

British Dictionary definitions for bylaw




a rule made by a local authority for the regulation of its affairs or management of the area it governs
a regulation of a company, society, etc
a subsidiary law

Word Origin for bylaw

C13: probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse bӯr dwelling, town; see bower 1, law 1

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

Word Origin and History for bylaw



late 13c., bilage "local ordinance," from Old Norse or Old Danish bi-lagu "town law," from byr "place where people dwell, town, village," from bua "to dwell" (see bower) + lagu "law" (see law). So, a local law pertaining to local residents, or rule of a corporation or association. Sense influenced by by.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper