legalism

[ lee-guh-liz-uh m ]
/ ˈli gəˌlɪz əm /

noun

strict adherence, or the principle of strict adherence, to law or prescription, especially to the letter rather than the spirit.
Theology.
  1. the doctrine that salvation is gained through good works.
  2. the judging of conduct in terms of adherence to precise laws.
(initial capital letter) (in Chinese philosophy) the principles and practices of a school of political theorists advocating strict legal control over all activities, a system of rewards and punishments uniform for all classes, and an absolute monarchy.

QUIZZES

TAKE THIS QUIZ TO SEE WHAT YOU KNOW ABOUT HIGH SCHOOL PUNCTUATION!

Commas mark divisions in sentences. Periods end declarative sentences. Apostrophes show possession. Easy, right? Well, punctuation can get pretty tricky—fast. Think you got what it takes to be a punctuation expert? Take our quiz to prove it!
Question 1 of 10
Which of the options below is the best punctuation for the sentence? It__s your turn to pick the movie __ but your sister gets to pick the board game we _ re going to play.

Origin of legalism

First recorded in 1830–40; legal + -ism

OTHER WORDS FROM legalism

le·gal·ist, nounle·gal·is·tic, adjectivele·gal·is·ti·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for legalist

British Dictionary definitions for legalist

legalism
/ (ˈliːɡəˌlɪzəm) /

noun

strict adherence to the law, esp the stressing of the letter of the law rather than its spirit

Derived forms of legalism

legalist, noun, adjective
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