from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The body of laws of a state or nation dealing with the rights of private citizens.
  • n. The law of ancient Rome as embodied in the Justinian code, especially that which applied to private citizens.
  • n. A system of law having its origin in Roman law, as opposed to common law or canon law.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Roman law based on the Corpus Juris Civilis; it contrasts with common law.
  • n. The body of law dealing with the private relations between members of a community; it contrasts with criminal law, military law and ecclesiastical law.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. See under Law.
  • n. a term used by writers to designate Roman law, with modifications thereof which have been made in the different countries into which that law has been introduced. The civil law, instead of the common law, prevails in the State of Louisiana.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the body of laws established by a state or nation for its own regulation
  • n. the legal code of ancient Rome; codified under Justinian; the basis for many modern systems of civil law


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