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lawful Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. adjective conformable to or allowed by law
    • lawful methods of dissent
  2. adjective satellite according to custom or rule or natural law
    rule-governed.
  3. adjective satellite having a legally established claim
    rightful; true.
    • the legitimate heir
    • the true and lawful king
  4. adjective satellite authorized, sanctioned by, or in accordance with law
    legitimate; licit.
    • a legitimate government
WordNet

Law"ful adjective
Definitions
  1. Conformable to law; allowed by law; legitimate; competent.
  2. Constituted or authorized by law; rightful; as, the lawful owner of lands. = legal age ✍ In some of the States, and for some purposes, a woman attains lawful age at eighteen. Abbott. Syn. -- Legal; constitutional; allowable; regular; rightful. -- Lawful, Legal. Lawful means conformable to the principle, spirit, or essence of the law, and is applicable to moral as well as juridical law. Legal means conformable to the letter or rules of the law as it is administered in the courts; conformable to juridical law. Legal is often used as antithetical to equitable, but lawful is seldom used in that sense. -- Law"ful*ly, adv. -- Law"ful*ness, n.

Webster 1913