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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.
Origin of statute
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 statute
  • The others have all been dropped, because of the statute of limitations or the immunity rule.
  • With a possible charge of desertion, which carries no statute of limitations.
  • The statute of limitations for any crime was six months.
  • He also argued that the two-year statute of limitations on the summary offense has expired.
  • But, as the coalition's health bill heads for the statute books, problems are multiplying.
  • It will probably be timed out by a statute of limitations before a verdict is reached.
  • The statute of limitations has run out for those who merely carried out orders.
  • The law provides no clear remedy, since the statute of limitations bars prosecution for abuses that occurred decades ago.
  • After he left office, several cases expired under the statute of limitations.
  • Say the statute of limitations in your state is five years.
British Dictionary definitions for statute


  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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for statute

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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