the letter of the law


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the letter of the law

The law exactly as it is written, as opposed to a more liberal interpretation. I know he's the mayor's cousin, but we need to stick to the letter of the law so as to not get accused of giving him preferential treatment.
See also: law, letter, of

letter of the law

The precise wording rather than the spirit or intent. For example, Since it was the first time he'd broken the rules, the school decided to ignore the letter of the law and just give him a warning . [Late 1500s]
See also: law, letter, of

the letter of the law

COMMON The letter of the law is the law's exact meaning rather than the general and more important principles on which it is based. The Home Office stuck to the letter of the law over the definition of dependants. Michael Brower says such transactions violate the spirit, if not the letter, of the law. Note: You usually use this expression to show disapproval.
See also: law, letter, of

the letter of the law

the precise literal interpretation of a rule or instruction (as opposed to its broad intention).
See also: law, letter, of

the ˌletter of the ˈlaw

(often disapproving) the exact words of a law or rule rather than its general meaning: They insist on sticking to the letter of the law.
See also: law, letter, of
References in classic literature ?
Of course, it was a legal crime, of course, the letter of the law was broken and blood was shed.
Amazon may be acting within the letter of the law but this latest set of accounts are morally indefensible.
But it was a double touch and the letter of the law clearly states that it doesn't stand.
Comedically absurd but also introspective, The Ugly challenges dogmatic clinging to the letter of the law.
The letter of the law protects every American citizen from being deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process, including a fair hearing before an impartial judge or jury; yet the court systems and even (especially
Stoke boss Hughes said: "With the first red card, it is that old thing, the letter of the law - if you raise your hands, then you have to go.
If you go by the letter of the law it is a sending off, but if you do the letter of the law every single game then you will get six or seven sendings off a game," Monk said.
If you go by the letter of the law it is a sending-off, but if you do letter of the law every single game then you will get six or seven sendings-off a game," Monk said.
Jesus himself directed one of His strongest condemnations to lawyers who failed to look beyond the letter of the law.
Washington, March 9 ( ANI ): A few days after the Supreme Judicial Court in Massachusetts issued a letter-of-the-law ruling which allowed a man accused of taking "upskirt" photos to avoid prosecution, the legislature changed the letter of the law.
Tri-C President Jerry Sue Thornton told the newspaper the dispute is over "meeting the letter of the law on their rules and regs.
But the police are entitled to uphold the letter of the law if they so wish, so be warned drivers and keep to the limits at all times.
REFEREES have to stick to the letter of the law, otherwise they get marked down by the dreaded assessors, but I do wish they were allowed a little latitude at times.
There could be legal problems for small businesses who do not realise they could be contravening the letter of the law in any of three ways: by the use of specific words, by the use of specific images, and by promoting activities and events on materials that already include brand logos of non-official sponsors.
According to the Facebook post: "Let me state emphatically, everything has been followed to the letter of the law by myself and the employees of The Farrah Fawcett Foundation.