law and order



strict control of crime and repression of violence, sometimes involving the possible restriction of civil rights.

Origin of law and order

First recorded in 1590–1600 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for law-and-order

Contemporary Examples of law-and-order

Historical Examples of law-and-order

  • The law-and-order party was preparing to make a clean-up of the desperadoes.

    When the West Was Young

    Frederick R. Bechdolt

  • Evidently he had been briefed on the law-and-order situation in Port Sandor.

    Four-Day Planet

    Henry Beam Piper

  • He was a good-looking kid; only he was like all them tenderfoots—he didn't know a law-and-order town when he saw it.

  • I set apart with my eye the one I opinionated to be the boss muck-raker of this law-and-order cavalry.


    O. Henry

  • I don't blame Weary; he's looking out for the law-and-order business—and that's all right.

    Flying U Ranch

    B. M. Bower

British Dictionary definitions for law-and-order



(modifier) favouring or advocating strong measures to suppress crime and violencea law-and-order candidate
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

Idioms and Phrases with law-and-order

law and order

Strict enforcement of laws, especially for controlling crime. For example, Our candidate is always talking about law and order. The concept behind this term was stated by Aristotle. Today, however, it also carries the implication of infringing on civil rights in the course of too arduous law enforcement. [Late 1500s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.