obeying or keeping the law; obedient to law: law-abiding citizens.

Origin of law-abiding

First recorded in 1830–40
Related formslaw-a·bid·ing·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for law-abiding

Contemporary Examples of law-abiding

Historical Examples of law-abiding

  • The latter of the two, the dance of peace, is suitable to orderly and law-abiding men.



  • 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 lawsa law-abiding citizen
Derived Formslaw-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

Word Origin and History for law-abiding

1839, from law + abiding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper