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From: DICT.TW English-Chinese Dictionary 英漢字典

 common law

From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Law n.
 1. In general, a rule of being or of conduct, established by an authority able to enforce its will; a controlling regulation; the mode or order according to which an agent or a power acts.
 Note:A law may be universal or particular, written or unwritten, published or secret. From the nature of the highest laws a degree of permanency or stability is always implied; but the power which makes a law, or a superior power, may annul or change it.
    These are the statutes and judgments and laws, which the Lord made.   --Lev. xxvi. 46.
    The law of thy God, and the law of the King.   --Ezra vii. 26.
 As if they would confine the Interminable . . .
 Who made our laws to bind us, not himself.   --Milton.
    His mind his kingdom, and his will his law.   --Cowper.
 2. In morals: The will of God as the rule for the disposition and conduct of all responsible beings toward him and toward each other; a rule of living, conformable to righteousness; the rule of action as obligatory on the conscience or moral nature.
 3. The Jewish or Mosaic code, and that part of Scripture where it is written, in distinction from the gospel; hence, also, the Old Testament.  Specifically: the first five books of the bible, called also Torah, Pentatech, or Law of Moses.
    What things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law . . . But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets.   --Rom. iii. 19, 21.
 4. In human government: (a) An organic rule, as a constitution or charter, establishing and defining the conditions of the existence of a state or other organized community. (b) Any edict, decree, order, ordinance, statute, resolution, judicial, decision, usage, etc., or recognized, and enforced, by the controlling authority.
 5. In philosophy and physics: A rule of being, operation, or change, so certain and constant that it is conceived of as imposed by the will of God or by some controlling authority; as, the law of gravitation; the laws of motion; the law heredity; the laws of thought; the laws of cause and effect; law of self-preservation.
 6. In mathematics: The rule according to which anything, as the change of value of a variable, or the value of the terms of a series, proceeds; mode or order of sequence.
 7. In arts, works, games, etc.: The rules of construction, or of procedure, conforming to the conditions of success; a principle, maxim; or usage; as, the laws of poetry, of architecture, of courtesy, or of whist.
 8. Collectively, the whole body of rules relating to one subject, or emanating from one source; -- including usually the writings pertaining to them, and judicial proceedings under them; as, divine law; English law; Roman law; the law of real property; insurance law.
 9. Legal science; jurisprudence; the principles of equity; applied justice.
    Reason is the life of the law; nay, the common law itself is nothing else but reason.   --Coke.
    Law is beneficence acting by rule.   --Burke.
 And sovereign Law, that state's collected will
 O'er thrones and globes elate,
 Sits empress, crowning good, repressing ill.   --Sir W. Jones.
 10. Trial by the laws of the land; judicial remedy; litigation; as, to go law.
    When every case in law is right.   --Shak.
    He found law dear and left it cheap.   --Brougham.
 11. An oath, as in the presence of a court. [Obs.] See Wager of law, under Wager.
 Avogadro's law Chem., a fundamental conception, according to which, under similar conditions of temperature and pressure, all gases and vapors contain in the same volume the same number of ultimate molecules; -- so named after Avogadro, an Italian scientist. Sometimes called Ampère's law.
 Bode's law Astron., an approximative empirical expression of the distances of the planets from the sun, as follows: --
 Mer. Ven. Earth. Mars.  Aste.  Jup.  Sat.  Uran.   Nep.
  4    4     4     4      4      4     4      4      4
  0    3     6    12     24     48    96     192   384
  --   --   --    --     --     --    --     ---   ---
  4    7    10    16     28     52   100     196   388
  5.9  7.3  10    15.2   27.4   52    95.4   192   300
 where each distance (line third) is the sum of 4 and a multiple of 3 by the series 0, 1, 2, 4, 8, etc., the true distances being given in the lower line.
 Boyle's law Physics, an expression of the fact, that when an elastic fluid is subjected to compression, and kept at a constant temperature, the product of the pressure and volume is a constant quantity, i. e., the volume is inversely proportioned to the pressure; -- known also as Mariotte's law, and the law of Boyle and Mariotte.
 Brehon laws. See under Brehon.
 Canon law, the body of ecclesiastical law adopted in the Christian Church, certain portions of which (for example, the law of marriage as existing before the Council of Tent) were brought to America by the English colonists as part of the common law of the land. --Wharton.
 Civil law, a term used by writers to designate Roman law, with modifications thereof which have been made in the different countries into which that law has been introduced. The civil law, instead of the common law, prevails in the State of Louisiana. --Wharton.
 Commercial law. See Law merchant (below).
 Common law. See under Common.
 Criminal law, that branch of jurisprudence which relates to crimes.
 Ecclesiastical law. See under Ecclesiastical.
 Grimm's law Philol., a statement (propounded by the German philologist Jacob Grimm) of certain regular changes which the primitive Indo-European mute consonants, so-called (most plainly seen in Sanskrit and, with some changes, in Greek and Latin), have undergone in the Teutonic languages. Examples: Skr. bhātṛ, L. frater, E. brother, G. bruder; L. tres, E. three, G. drei, Skr. go, E. cow, G. kuh; Skr. dhā to put, Gr. ti-qe`-nai, E. do, OHG, tuon, G. thun.  See also lautverschiebung.
 Kepler's laws Astron., three important laws or expressions of the order of the planetary motions, discovered by John Kepler. They are these: (1) The orbit of a planet with respect to the sun is an ellipse, the sun being in one of the foci. (2) The areas swept over by a vector drawn from the sun to a planet are proportioned to the times of describing them. (3) The squares of the times of revolution of two planets are in the ratio of the cubes of their mean distances.
 Law binding, a plain style of leather binding, used for law books; -- called also law calf.
 Law book, a book containing, or treating of, laws.
 Law calf. See Law binding (above).
 Law day. (a) Formerly, a day of holding court, esp. a court-leet. (b) The day named in a mortgage for the payment of the money to secure which it was given. [U. S.]
 Law French, the dialect of Norman, which was used in judicial proceedings and law books in England from the days of William the Conqueror to the thirty-sixth year of Edward III.
 Law language, the language used in legal writings and forms.
 Law Latin. See under Latin.
 Law lords, peers in the British Parliament who have held high judicial office, or have been noted in the legal profession.
 Law merchant, or Commercial law, a system of rules by which trade and commerce are regulated; -- deduced from the custom of merchants, and regulated by judicial decisions, as also by enactments of legislatures.
 Law of Charles Physics, the law that the volume of a given mass of gas increases or decreases, by a definite fraction of its value for a given rise or fall of temperature; -- sometimes less correctly styled Gay Lussac's law, or Dalton's law.
 Law of nations. See International law, under International.
 Law of nature. (a) A broad generalization expressive of the constant action, or effect, of natural conditions; as, death is a law of nature; self-defense is a law of nature. See Law, 4. (b) A term denoting the standard, or system, of morality deducible from a study of the nature and natural relations of human beings independent of supernatural revelation or of municipal and social usages.
 Law of the land, due process of law; the general law of the land.
 Laws of honor. See under Honor.
 Laws of motion Physics, three laws defined by Sir Isaac Newton: (1) Every body perseveres in its state of rest or of moving uniformly in a straight line, except so far as it is made to change that state by external force. (2) Change of motion is proportional to the impressed force, and takes place in the direction in which the force is impressed. (3) Reaction is always equal and opposite to action, that is to say, the actions of two bodies upon each other are always equal and in opposite directions.
 Marine law, or Maritime law, the law of the sea; a branch of the law merchant relating to the affairs of the sea, such as seamen, ships, shipping, navigation, and the like. --Bouvier.
 Mariotte's law. See Boyle's law (above).
 Martial law.See under Martial.
 Military law, a branch of the general municipal law, consisting of rules ordained for the government of the military force of a state in peace and war, and administered in courts martial. --Kent.  --Warren's Blackstone.
 Moral law, the law of duty as regards what is right and wrong in the sight of God; specifically, the ten commandments given by Moses. See Law, 2.
 Mosaic law, or Ceremonial law. Script. See Law, 3.
 Municipal law, or Positive law, a rule prescribed by the supreme power of a state, declaring some right, enforcing some duty, or prohibiting some act; -- distinguished from international law and constitutional law. See Law, 1.
 Periodic law. Chem. See under Periodic.
 Roman law, the system of principles and laws found in the codes and treatises of the lawmakers and jurists of ancient Rome, and incorporated more or less into the laws of the several European countries and colonies founded by them. See Civil law (above).
 Statute law, the law as stated in statutes or positive enactments of the legislative body.
 Sumptuary law. See under Sumptuary.
 To go to law, to seek a settlement of any matter by bringing it before the courts of law; to sue or prosecute some one.
 To take the law of, or To have the law of, to bring the law to bear upon; as, to take the law of one's neighbor. --Addison.
 Wager of law. See under Wager.
 Syn: -- Justice; equity.
 Usage: -- Law, Statute, Common law, Regulation, Edict, Decree. Law is generic, and, when used with reference to, or in connection with, the other words here considered, denotes whatever is commanded by one who has a right to require obedience. A statute is a particular law drawn out in form, and distinctly enacted and proclaimed. Common law is a rule of action founded on long usage and the decisions of courts of justice. A regulation is a limited and often, temporary law, intended to secure some particular end or object. An edict is a command or law issued by a sovereign, and is peculiar to a despotic government. A decree is a permanent order either of a court or of the executive government. See Justice.

From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Stat·ute n.
 1. An act of the legislature of a state or country, declaring, commanding, or prohibiting something; a positive law; the written will of the legislature expressed with all the requisite forms of legislation; -- used in distinction from common law. See Common law, under Common, a.
 Note:Statute is commonly applied to the acts of a legislative body consisting of representatives.  In monarchies, the laws of the sovereign are called edicts, decrees, ordinances, rescripts, etc.  In works on international law and in the Roman law, the term is used as embracing all laws imposed by competent authority.  Statutes in this sense are divided into statutes real, statutes personal, and statutes mixed; statutes real applying to immovables; statutes personal to movables; and statutes mixed to both classes of property.
 2. An act of a corporation or of its founder, intended as a permanent rule or law; as, the statutes of a university.
 3. An assemblage of farming servants (held possibly by statute) for the purpose of being hired; -- called also statute fair. [Eng.] Cf. 3d Mop, 2.
 Statute book, a record of laws or legislative acts. --Blackstone.
 Statute cap, a kind of woolen cap; -- so called because enjoined to be worn by a statute, dated in 1571, in behalf of the trade of cappers. [Obs.] --Halliwell.
 Statute fair. See Statute, n., 3, above.
 Statute labor, a definite amount of labor required for the public service in making roads, bridges, etc., as in certain English colonies.
 Statute merchant Eng. Law, a bond of record pursuant to the stat. 13 Edw. I., acknowledged in form prescribed, on which, if not paid at the day, an execution might be awarded against the body, lands, and goods of the debtor, and the obligee might hold the lands until out of the rents and profits of them the debt was satisfied; -- called also a pocket judgment. It is now fallen into disuse. --Tomlins. --Bouvier.
 Statute mile. See under Mile.
 Statute of limitations Law, a statute assigning a certain time, after which rights can not be enforced by action.
 Statute staple, a bond of record acknowledged before the mayor of the staple, by virtue of which the creditor may, on nonpayment, forthwith have execution against the body, lands, and goods of the debtor, as in the statute merchant. It is now disused. --Blackstone.
 Syn: -- Act; regulation; edict; decree. See Law.

From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Un·writ·ten a.
 1. Not written; not reduced to writing; oral; as, unwritten agreements.
 2. Containing no writing; blank; as, unwritten paper.
 Unwritten doctrines Theol., such doctrines as have been handed down by word of mouth; oral or traditional doctrines.
 Unwritten law. [Cf. L. lex non scripta.] That part of the law of England and of the United States which is not derived from express legislative enactment, or at least from any enactment now extant and in force as such. This law is now generally contained in the reports of judicial decisions. See Common law, under Common.
 Unwritten laws, such laws as have been handed down by tradition or in song. Such were the laws of the early nations of Europe.

From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Write v. t. [imp. Wrote p. p. Written Archaic imp. & p. p. Writ p. pr. & vb. n. Writing.]
 1. To set down, as legible characters; to form the conveyance of meaning; to inscribe on any material by a suitable instrument; as, to write the characters called letters; to write figures.
 2. To set down for reading; to express in legible or intelligible characters; to inscribe; as, to write a deed; to write a bill of divorcement; hence, specifically, to set down in an epistle; to communicate by letter.
    Last night she enjoined me to write some lines to one she loves.   --Shak.
 I chose to write the thing I durst not speak
 To her I loved.   --Prior.
 3. Hence, to compose or produce, as an author.
    I purpose to write the history of England from the accession of King James the Second down to a time within the memory of men still living.   --Macaulay.
 4. To impress durably; to imprint; to engrave; as, truth written on the heart.
 5. To make known by writing; to record; to prove by one's own written testimony; -- often used reflexively.
    He who writes himself by his own inscription is like an ill painter, who, by writing on a shapeless picture which he hath drawn, is fain to tell passengers what shape it is, which else no man could imagine.   --Milton.
 To write to, to communicate by a written document to.
 Written laws, laws deriving their force from express legislative enactment, as contradistinguished from unwritten, or common, law.  See the Note under Law, and Common law, under Common, a.

From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Com·mon a. [Compar. Commoner superl. Commonest.]
 1. Belonging or relating equally, or similarly, to more than one; as, you and I have a common interest in the property.
    Though life and sense be common to men and brutes.   --Sir M. Hale.
 2. Belonging to or shared by, affecting or serving, all the members of a class, considered together; general; public; as, properties common to all plants; the common schools; the Book of Common Prayer.
    Such actions as the common good requireth.   --Hooker.
    The common enemy of man.   --Shak.
 3. Often met with; usual; frequent; customary.
    Grief more than common grief.   --Shak.
 4. Not distinguished or exceptional; inconspicuous; ordinary; plebeian; -- often in a depreciatory sense.
    The honest, heart-felt enjoyment of common life.   --W. Irving.
 This fact was infamous
 And ill beseeming any common man,
 Much more a knight, a captain and a leader.   --Shak.
    Above the vulgar flight of common souls.   --A. Murphy.
 5. Profane; polluted. [Obs.]
    What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.   --Acts x. 15.
 6. Given to habits of lewdness; prostitute.
    A dame who herself was common.   --L'Estrange.
 Common bar Law Same as Blank bar, under Blank.
 Common barrator Law, one who makes a business of instigating litigation.
 Common Bench, a name sometimes given to the English Court of Common Pleas.
 Common brawler Law, one addicted to public brawling and quarreling. See Brawler.
 Common carrier Law, one who undertakes the office of carrying (goods or persons) for hire. Such a carrier is bound to carry in all cases when he has accommodation, and when his fixed price is tendered, and he is liable for all losses and injuries to the goods, except those which happen in consequence of the act of God, or of the enemies of the country, or of the owner of the property himself.
 Common chord Mus., a chord consisting of the fundamental tone, with its third and fifth.
 Common council, the representative (legislative) body, or the lower branch of the representative body, of a city or other municipal corporation.
 Common crier, the crier of a town or city.
 Common divisor Math., a number or quantity that divides two or more numbers or quantities without a remainder; a common measure.
 Common gender Gram., the gender comprising words that may be of either the masculine or the feminine gender.
 Common law, a system of jurisprudence developing under the guidance of the courts so as to apply a consistent and reasonable rule to each litigated case. It may be superseded by statute, but unless superseded it controls. --Wharton.
 Note: It is by others defined as the unwritten law (especially of England), the law that receives its binding force from immemorial usage and universal reception, as ascertained and expressed in the judgments of the courts. This term is often used in contradistinction from statute law. Many use it to designate a law common to the whole country. It is also used to designate the whole body of English (or other) law, as distinguished from its subdivisions, local, civil, admiralty, equity, etc. See Law.
 Common lawyer, one versed in common law.
 Common lewdness Law, the habitual performance of lewd acts in public.
 Common multiple Arith. See under Multiple.
 Common noun Gram., the name of any one of a class of objects, as distinguished from a proper noun (the name of a particular person or thing).
 Common nuisance Law, that which is deleterious to the health or comfort or sense of decency of the community at large.
 Common pleas, one of the three superior courts of common law at Westminster, presided over by a chief justice and four puisne judges. Its jurisdiction is confined to civil matters. Courts bearing this title exist in several of the United States, having, however, in some cases, both civil and criminal jurisdiction extending over the whole State. In other States the jurisdiction of the common pleas is limited to a county, and it is sometimes called a county court. Its powers are generally defined by statute.
 Common prayer, the liturgy of the Church of England, or of the Protestant Episcopal church of the United States, which all its clergy are enjoined to use. It is contained in the Book of Common Prayer.
 Common school, a school maintained at the public expense, and open to all.
 Common scold Law, a woman addicted to scolding indiscriminately, in public.
 Common seal, a seal adopted and used by a corporation.
 Common sense. (a) A supposed sense which was held to be the common bond of all the others. [Obs.] --Trench. (b) Sound judgment. See under Sense.
 Common time Mus., that variety of time in which the measure consists of two or of four equal portions.
 In common, equally with another, or with others; owned, shared, or used, in community with others; affecting or affected equally.
 Out of the common, uncommon; extraordinary.
 Tenant in common, one holding real or personal property in common with others, having distinct but undivided interests. See Joint tenant, under Joint.
 To make common cause with, to join or ally one's self with.
 Syn: -- General; public; popular; national; universal; frequent; ordinary; customary; usual; familiar; habitual; vulgar; mean; trite; stale; threadbare; commonplace. See Mutual, Ordinary, General.

From: WordNet (r) 2.0

 common law
      n 1: (civil law) a law established by following earlier judicial
           decisions [syn: case law, precedent]
      2: a system of jurisprudence based on judicial precedents
         rather than statutory laws; "common law originated in the
         unwritten laws of England and was later applied in the
         United States" [syn: case law, precedent]