1. allowed or permitted by law; not contrary to law: a lawful enterprise.
  2. recognized or sanctioned by law; legitimate: a lawful marriage; a lawful heir.
  3. appointed or recognized by law; legally qualified: a lawful king.
  4. acting or living according to the law; law-abiding: a lawful man; a lawful community.


  1. allowed, recognized, or sanctioned by law; legal

adj.c.1300, laghful; cf. Old Norse logfullr (see law). Related: Lawfully; lawfulness.

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