Definition of Law
(noun) A formal or informal rule or standard (mores) enacted by a political entity and enforced by agents with recognized authority such as the police and the courts.
- American English – /lAW/
- British English – /lAW/
International Phonetic Alphabet
- American English – /lɑ/
- British English – /lɔː/
- Plural: laws
- Laws are studied in criminology.
- “We can say that an act is criminal when it offends strong and defined states of the collective consciousness . . . In other words, we must not say that an action offends the common consciousness because it is criminal, but rather that it is criminal because it shocks the common consciousness. We do not condemn it because it is a crime, but it is a crime because we condemn it” (Durkheim  2004:24).
- Crime and Law Resources – Books, Journals, and Helpful Links
- Politics and Policy Resources – Books, Journals, and Helpful Links
- Word origin of “law” – Online Etymology Dictionary: etymonline.com
- Black, Donald. 2011. Moral Time. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Vago, Steven. 2012. Law and Society. 10th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Durkheim, Émile.  2004. “The Division of Labour in Society.” Pp. 19–38 in Readings from Emile Durkheim. Rev. ed., edited and translated by K. Thompson. New York: Routledge.
Andersen, Margaret L., and Howard Francis Taylor. 2011. Sociology: The Essentials. 6th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Briggs, Steven M., and Joan Friedman. 2009. Criminology For Dummies. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Brinkerhoff, David, Lynn White, Suzanne Ortega, and Rose Weitz. 2011. Essentials of Sociology. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Chase-Dunn, Christopher, and Bruce Lerro. 2014. Social Change: Globalization from the Stone Age to the Present. New York: Routledge.
Dillon, Michele. 2014. Introduction to Sociological Theory: Theorists, Concepts, and their Applicability to the Twenty-First Century. 2nd ed. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Ferrante, Joan. 2011. Seeing Sociology: An Introduction. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Ferris, Kerry, and Jill Stein. 2010. The Real World: An Introduction to Sociology. 2nd ed. New York: Norton.
Hughes, Michael, and Carolyn J. Kroehler. 2011. Sociology: The Core. 10th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Kendall, Diana. 2011. Sociology in Our Times. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Kimmel, Michael S., and Amy Aronson. 2012. Sociology Now. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Kornblum, William. 2008. Sociology in a Changing World. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Macmillan. (N.d.) Macmillan Dictionary. (https://www.macmillandictionary.com/).
Marsh, Ian, and Mike Keating, eds. 2006. Sociology: Making Sense of Society. 3rd ed. Harlow, England: Pearson Education.
Merriam-Webster. (N.d.) Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (http://www.merriam-webster.com/).
Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/).
Ravelli, Bruce, and Michelle Webber. 2016. Exploring Sociology: A Canadian Perspective. 3rd ed. Toronto: Pearson.
Schaefer, Richard. 2013. Sociology: A Brief Introduction. 10th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Shepard, Jon M. 2010. Sociology. 11th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Shepard, Jon M., and Robert W. Greene. 2003. Sociology and You. New York: Glencoe.
Siegel, Larry J., and Clemens Bartollas. 2011. Corrections Today. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Siegel, Larry J., and John L. Worrall. 2012. Introduction to Criminal Justice. 13th ed. Belmont: CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Siegel, Larry J., and John L. Worrall. 2013. Essentials of Criminal Justice. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Taylor & Francis. (N.d.) Routledge Handbooks Online. (https://www.routledgehandbooks.com/).
Thompson, William E., and Joseph V. Hickey. 2012. Society in Focus: An Introduction to Sociology. 7th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Tischler, Henry L. 2011. Introduction to Sociology. 10th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary. Wikimedia Foundation. (http://en.wiktionary.org).
Wiley. (N.d.) Wiley Online Library. (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/).
Cite the Definition of Law
ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “law.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved June 5, 2023 (https://sociologydictionary.org/law/).
APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)
law. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/law/
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “law.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed June 5, 2023. https://sociologydictionary.org/law/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“law.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 5 Jun. 2023. <https://sociologydictionary.org/law/>.