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[lee-guh-leez, -lees] /ˌli gəˈliz, -ˈlis/
language containing an excessive amount of legal terminology or of legal jargon.
Origin of legalese
1910-15; legal + -ese Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for legalese
  • These three images would be what is known in copyright legalese as derivative works.
  • And those package inserts are written in gibberish legalese, without any useful statistics.
  • The language is dense legalese, often containing double or triple negatives.
  • But such is life under judicial oligarchy, forcing the nation to speak legalese.
  • Under all the legalese is a fundamental clash of values.
  • The commission, in elaborate legalese on impressive parchment, was duly read.
  • The story also links to the formal store return requirements, if legalese is more your thing.
  • Its in such legalese that even a highly educated individual can't comprehend what the heck they're trying to tell you.
  • Plus, the use of legalese created more reliance on attorneys, leading to more time and expense wasted on a file.
  • Hopefully everyone wins, because the only ones who wanted fifty pages of legalese was the regulators.
British Dictionary definitions for legalese


the conventional language in which legal documents, etc, are written
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 legalese

"the language of legal documents," 1914, from legal + language name ending -ese.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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legalese in Technology

Dense, pedantic verbiage in a language description, product specification, or interface standard; text that seems designed to obfuscate and requires a language lawyer to parse it. Though hackers are not afraid of high information density and complexity in language (indeed, they rather enjoy both), they share a deep and abiding loathing for legalese; they associate it with deception, suits, and situations in which hackers generally get the short end of the stick.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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