natural law

noun
a principle or body of laws considered as derived from nature, right reason, or religion and as ethically binding in human society.
Compare positive law.


Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
natural law
 
n
1.  an ethical belief or system of beliefs supposed to be inherent in human nature and discoverable by reason rather than revelation
2.  See also nomological a nonlogically necessary truth; law of nature
3.  the philosophical doctrine that the authority of the legal system or of certain laws derives from their justifiability by reason, and indeed that a legal system which cannot be so justified has no authority

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Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
Main Entry:  natural law
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  See scientific law
Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

natural law definition


The doctrine that human affairs should be governed by ethical principles that are part of the very nature of things and that can be understood by reason. The first two paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence contain a clear statement of the doctrine.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
And the goal is to gain as complete control over the physical universe as is
  compatible with natural law.
All signs point to a revolution that advances to the limits set by natural law
  and the molecular graininess of matter.
We have natural law and material processes alone deemed to define what is
  science.
Such a simplistic approach as trying to explain human behavior through natural
  law has led to nothing but string of failures.
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