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View synonyms for law and order

law and order

noun

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


law-and-order

noun

  1. modifier favouring or advocating strong measures to suppress crime and violence

    a law-and-order candidate



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Word History and Origins

Origin of law and order1

First recorded in 1590–1600
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Idioms and Phrases

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]
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Example Sentences

The government is split between libertarians and the law-and-order Conservatives.

Indeed, law-and-order authorities found themselves with little to do.

In recent weeks Libyan officials, when faced by law-and-order challenges, have reflexively blamed former Gaddafi officials.

Blanchard attributes the incarceration rate to a law-and-order mentality that criminalizing something prevents it from happening.

And Republican primary voters are notoriously law-and-order fanatics.

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.

It was a constant topic of conversation among the recognized law-and-order men and all of us agreed the thieves must be checked.

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

Goodrich brought news that the law-and-order party were preparing an expedition to Charleston to round up Curly Bill.

The best men in early Montana were among the Vigilantes—all the law-and-order men were.

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Definitions and idiom definitions from Dictionary.com Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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

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