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[stach-oot, -oo t] /ˈstætʃ ut, -ʊt/
  1. an enactment made by a legislature and expressed in a formal document.
  2. the document in which such an enactment is expressed.
International Law. an instrument annexed or subsidiary to an international agreement, as a treaty.
a permanent rule established by an organization, corporation, etc., to govern its internal affairs.
1250-1300; Middle English statut < Old French estatut < Late Latin statūtum, noun use of neuter of Latin statūtus (past participle of statuere to make stand, set up, derivative of status status), equivalent to statū-, verb stem + -tus past participle suffix
Can be confused
statue, stature, statute. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for statutes
  • State attorneys general are deeply interested in possible violations of consumer protection statutes by for-profit colleges.
  • Another six allow initiatives only to enact statutes.
  • There are a number of statutes designed to protect individuals' health care information.
  • Some critics have said that the use of these statutes in this case is overreaching.
  • The report of the committee on the revision of the statutes was read and accepted.
  • Both were found not guilty of violating five firearms statutes.
  • It should be followed next year by a radical amendment of the statutes relative to dower right in real estate.
  • Degrees in criminal statutes regularly reflect accelerated sanctions for what are regarded as more sinister motives.
  • Some of the measures included anti-trust statutes, regulations, and a progressive income tax.
  • More than a thousand federal statutes rely on marriage to define one's status.
British Dictionary definitions for statutes


  1. an enactment of a legislative body expressed in a formal document
  2. this document
a permanent rule made by a body or institution for the government of its internal affairs
Word Origin
C13: from Old French estatut, from Late Latin statūtum, from Latin statuere to set up, decree, ultimately from stāre to stand
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for statutes



late 13c., from Old French statut, from Late Latin statutum "a law, decree," noun use of neuter past participle of Latin statuere "enact, establish," from status "condition, position," from stare "to stand" from PIE root *sta- "to stand" (see stet).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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