Etymology
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Words related to legal

legalistic (adj.)
1843, with -ic + legalist "one who advocates strict adherence to the law," especially in theology (1640s); see legal + -ist. Legalism in theology is attested from 1838.
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legality (n.)

mid-15c., "law-abiding behavior or character," from Medieval Latin legalitatem (nominative legalitas), from Latin legalis "pertaining to the law" (see legal).

legalize (v.)
1716, from legal + -ize. Related: Legalized; legalizing.
legicide (n.)
"a destroyer of laws," 1680s, from Latin legis, genitive of lex "law" (see legal (adj.)) + -cide "killer."
legislator (n.)

"a lawgiver, a maker of laws," c. 1600, from Latin legis lator "proposer of a law," from legis, genitive of lex "law" (see legal (adj.)) + lator "proposer," agent noun of lātus "borne, brought, carried" (see oblate (n.)), which was used as past tense of ferre "to carry" (from PIE root *bher- (1) "to carry," also "to bear children."). In U.S., generally a member of a state, territorial, or colonial legislature. Fem. form legislatrix is from 1670s; legislatress from 1711. Related: Legislatorial.

legitimate (adj.)

mid-15c., "lawfully begotten, born of parents legally married," from past participle of Old French legitimer and directly from Medieval Latin legitimatus, past participle of legitimare "make lawful, declare to be lawful," from Latin legitimus "lawful," originally "fixed by law, in line with the law," from lex (genitive legis) "law" (see legal). Transferred sense of "genuine, real" is attested from 1550s. Related: Legitimately; legitimateness. The older adjective in English was legitime "lawful, of legitimate birth" (late 14c.), from Old French legitime, from Latin legitimus.

lex talionis (n.)
1590s, legal Latin, "law of retaliation," an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, from lex "law" (see legal) + talionis, genitive of talio "exaction of payment in kind" (see retaliation). Not related to talon. Other legal Latin phrases include lex domicilii "the law of the place where the person resides," lex fori "law of the place in which an action is brought."
medico-legal (adj.)

"of or relating to law and medicine," by 1824, from medico- + legal.

paralegal (n.)

"one trained in subsidiary legal matters," 1972, from para- (1) + legal assistant.

privilege (n.)

mid-12c. "grant, commission" (recorded earlier in Old English, but as a Latin word), from Old French privilege "right, priority, privilege" (12c.) and directly from Latin privilegium "law applying to one person, bill of law in favor of or against an individual;" in the post-Augustine period "an ordinance in favor of an individual" (typically the exemption of one individual from the operation of a law), "privilege, prerogative," from privus "individual" (see private (adj.)) + lex (genitive legis) "law" (see legal (adj.)).

From c. 1200 as "power or prerogative associated with a certain social or religious position." Meaning "advantage granted, special right or favor granted to a person or group, a right, immunity, benefit, or advantage enjoyed by a person or body of persons beyond the common advantages of other individuals" is from mid-14c. in English. From late 14c. as "legal immunity or exemption."

Formerly of such things as an exemption or license granted by the Pope, or special immunity or advantage (as freedom of speech) granted to persons in authority or in office; in modern times, with general equality of all under the law, it is used of the basic rights common to all citizens (habeas corpus, voting, etc.).

Privilege is also more loosely used for any special advantage: as, the privilege of intimacy with people of noble character. Prerogative is a right of precedence, an exclusive privilege, an official right, a right indefeasible on account of one's character or position : as, the Stuart kings were continually asserting the royal prerogative, but parliament resisted any infringement upon its privileges. [Century Dictionary]

Middle English also had pravilege "an evil law or privilege" (late 14c.), from Medieval Latin pravilegium, a play on privilegium by substitution of pravus "wrong, bad."

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