Etymology
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Words related to legal

*leg- (1)

Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to collect, gather," with derivatives meaning "to speak" on the notion of "to gather words, to pick out words."

It forms all or part of: alexia; analects; analogous; analogue; analogy; anthology; apologetic; apologue; apology; catalogue; coil; colleague; collect; college; collegial; Decalogue; delegate; dialect; dialogue; diligence; doxology; dyslexia; eclectic; eclogue; elect; election; epilogue; hapax legomenon; homologous; horology; ideologue; idiolect; intelligence; lectern; lectio difficilior; lection; lector; lecture; leech (n.2) "physician;" legacy; legal; legate; legend; legible; legion; legislator; legitimate; lesson; lexicon; ligneous; ligni-; logarithm; logic; logistic; logo-; logogriph; logopoeia; Logos; -logue; -logy; loyal; monologue; neglect; neologism; philology; privilege; prolegomenon; prologue; relegate; sacrilege; select; syllogism; tautology; trilogy.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Greek legein "to say, tell, speak, declare; to count," originally, in Homer, "to pick out, select, collect, enumerate;" lexis "speech, diction;" logos "word, speech, thought, account;" Latin legere "to gather, choose, pluck; read," lignum "wood, firewood," literally "that which is gathered," legare "to depute, commission, charge," lex "law" (perhaps "collection of rules"); Albanian mb-ledh "to collect, harvest;" Gothic lisan "to collect, harvest," Lithuanian lesti "to pick, eat picking;" Hittite less-zi "to pick, gather."

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law (n.)
Origin and meaning of law

Old English lagu (plural laga, combining form lah-) "ordinance, rule prescribed by authority, regulation; district governed by the same laws;" also sometimes "right, legal privilege," from Old Norse *lagu "law," collective plural of lag "layer, measure, stroke," literally "something laid down, that which is fixed or set."

This is reconstructed to be from Proto-Germanic *lagam "put, lay" (from PIE root *legh- "to lie down, lay"). The modern word is thus a twin of lay (n.2) as "that which is set or established."

Rare in Old English, it ousted the more usual ae and also gesetnes, which also were etymologically "something placed or set." 

In physics, "a proposition which expresses the regular order of things," from 1660s. Law and order have been coupled since 1796. To lay down the law (1752) is pleonastic (the "law" in the figure is biblical law, laid down from the pulpit). Poor laws provided for the support of paupers at public expense; sumptuary laws restrained excesses in apparel, food, or luxuries.

It is more common for Indo-European languages to use different words for "a specific law" and for "law" in the general sense of "institution or body of laws," for example Latin lex "a law," ius "a right," especially "legal right, law."

Indo-European words for "a law" are most commonly from verbs for "to put, place, set, lay," such as Greek thesmos (from tithemi "to put, place"), Old English dom (from PIE *dhe- "to put, place, set"), Lithuanian įstatymas (from statyti "cause to stand, set up, establish"), Polish ustawa (from stać "stand"). Also compare Old English gesetnes (above), statute, from Latin statuere; German Gesetz "a law, statute," from Old High German gisatzida "a fixing, determination, assessment," with sezzen (modern German setzen) "to make sit, set, put."

Words for "law" in the general sense mostly mean etymologically "what is right" and often are connected with adjectives for "right" (themselves often figurative uses of words for "straight," "upright," "true," "fitting," or "usage, custom." Such are Greek nomos (as in numismatic); French droit, Spanish derecho, from Latin directus; Polish prawo, Russian pravo (from Old Church Slavonic pravŭ "straight," in the daughter languages "right"); also Old Norse rettr, Old English riht, Dutch recht, German Recht (see right (adj.1)).

[L]earn to obey good laws before you seek to alter bad ones [Ruskin, "Fors Clavigera"]
leal (adj.)
"loyal, faithful, honest, true," c. 1300, lele, surviving from Middle English as Northern English and Scottish form of loyal. But the Land of the leal (Lady Nairne) is Heaven, not Scotland. Related: Lealty.
loyal (adj.)

"true or faithful in allegiance," 1530s, in reference to subjects of sovereigns or governments, from French loyal, from Old French loial, leal "of good quality; faithful; honorable; law-abiding; legitimate, born in wedlock," from Latin legalem, from lex "law" (see legal).

Identical with legal, which maintains the Latin form; in most uses it has displaced Middle English leal, which is an older borrowing of the French word. For the twinning, compare royal/regal. Sense development in English is feudal, via notion of "faithful in carrying out legal obligations; conformable to the laws of honor." In a general sense (of dogs, lovers, etc.), from c. 1600. As a noun meaning "those who are loyal" from 1530s (originally often in plural).

tender (n.2)
"formal offer for acceptance," 1540s, from tender (v.). Specific sense of "money offered as payment" is from 1740, in legal tender "currency which by law must be accepted from a debtor" (see legal).
disloyal (adj.)

early 15c. (implied in disloyally), "not true to one's allegiance" (to a sovereign, state, or government), from Old French desloial, desleal "treacherous, false, deceitful" (Modern French déloyal), from des- "not, opposite of" (see dis-) + loial "of good quality; faithful; honorable; law-abiding; legitimate, born in wedlock," from Latin legalem, from lex "law" (see legal). Sometimes also "not true to one's obligations or engagements," especially to a lover, spouse, or friend, (late 15c.), but this sense is rare.

disloyalty (n.)

"want of loyalty, unfaithful behavior," early 15c., disloialte, from a variant of Old French desloiaute, desleauté "disloyalty, faithlessness, marital infidelity," from desloial, desleal "treacherous, false, deceitful" (Modern French déloyal), from des- "not, opposite of" (see dis-) + loial "of good quality; faithful; honorable; law-abiding; legitimate, born in wedlock," from Latin legalem, from lex "law" (see legal). Since c. 1600 especially "violation of allegiance or duty to a state or sovereign."

illegal (adj.)
1630s, from French illégal (14c.) or directly from Medieval Latin illegalis, from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + Latin legalis (see legal). Term illegal immigrant first recorded 1892 in American English (illegal immigration is from 1887); used in British English in 1940s in reference to the Jewish movement to Palestine.
in custodia legis (adv.)
legal Latin, "in the custody of the law," from ablative of custodia "a guarding, watching, keeping" (see custody) + legis, genitive of lex "law" (see legal (adj.)).
legalese (n.)
"the language of legal documents," 1914, from legal + language name ending -ese.