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[bahy-law] /ˈbaɪˌlɔ/
a standing rule governing the regulation of a corporation's or society's internal affairs.
a subsidiary law.
British. an ordinance of a municipality or community.
Also, byelaw.
1325-75; by- + law1; replacing Middle English bilawe, equivalent to by town (< Scandinavian; compare Danish by) + lawe law Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for bylaws
  • Commercial and political self-promotion is forbidden in our bylaws.
  • The initial bylaws of a corporation shall be adopted by its board of directors.
  • For their own government, the directors may adopt bylaws that are not inconsistent with the articles or the regulations.
  • Instead, they said, it was to bring the bylaws into compliance with the law.
  • There has to be a physical mechanism to make all those universes and bestow bylaws on them.
  • The handbook has specific bylaws concerning such misconduct and general ones.
  • Our co-op bylaws state that they may be amended by a vote of shareholders owning two-thirds of the outstanding shares.
  • The bylaws of our co-op say nothing about what should be done if this happens.
  • These two model sets of bylaws are presented only as a guide for the formation of your own bylaws.
  • The bylaws enacted by it do not have the status of a legislative act.
British Dictionary definitions for bylaws


a rule made by a local authority for the regulation of its affairs or management of the area it governs
a regulation of a company, society, etc
a subsidiary law
Word Origin
C13: probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse bӯr dwelling, town; see bower1, law1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bylaws



late 13c., bilage "local ordinance," from Old Norse or Old Danish bi-lagu "town law," from byr "place where people dwell, town, village," from bua "to dwell" (see bower) + lagu "law" (see law). So, a local law pertaining to local residents, or rule of a corporation or association. Sense influenced by by.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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