legal

[ lee-guhl ]
/ ˈli gəl /

adjective

noun

Origin of legal

1490–1500; < Latin lēgālis of the law, equivalent to lēg- (stem of lēx) law + -ālis -al1
Related forms

Definition for legal (2 of 2)

legal dictionary


noun

a specialized dictionary covering terms used in the various branches of the legal profession, as civil law, criminal law, and corporate law. A comprehensive legal dictionary adds to its body of standard English entries many words and phrases that have made their way into modern legal practice from law French and Latin and are rarely found in a general English monolingual dictionary. Such a specialized dictionary is useful not only for law students and for attorneys themselves, but for members of the lay public who require legal services. Legal dictionaries published in print follow the normal practice of sorting entry terms alphabetically, while electronic dictionaries, such as the online Dictionary of Law on Dictionary.com, allow direct, immediate access to a search term.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for legal

British Dictionary definitions for legal

legal

/ (ˈliːɡəl) /

adjective

established by or founded upon law; lawful
of or relating to law
recognized, enforceable, or having a remedy at law rather than in equity
relating to or characteristic of the profession of law
Derived Formslegally, adverb

Word Origin for legal

C16: from Latin lēgālis, from lēx law
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 legal

legal


adj.

mid-15c. "of or pertaining to the law," from Middle French légal or directly from Latin legalis "legal, pertaining to the law," from lex (genitive legis) "law," possibly related to legere "to gather," on notion of "a collection of rules" (see lecture (n.)).

Sense of "permitted by law" is from 1640s. Related: Legally. The Old French form was leial, loial (see leal, loyal). Legal tender is from 1740.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper