a law unto (oneself)

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a law unto (oneself)

Someone who does whatever they desire, ignoring the rules and regulations. If you need to delegate, I wouldn't ask Gina—she is a law unto herself, and it's hard to persuade her to do anything she's not interested in. How many times has Jason been arrested now? Geez, he sure is a law unto himself! The country will be met with swift sanctions if their president continues to act as a law unto himself.
See also: law, unto
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

*law unto oneself

Fig. one who ignores laws or rules; one who sets one's own standards of behavior. (*Typically: be ~; become ~.) You can't get Bill to follow the rules. He's a law unto himself. Jane is a law unto herself. She's totally unwilling to cooperate.
See also: law, unto
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

law unto oneself

A person who is totally independent, especially one who ignores established rules. For example, You can't tell Marge how to punctuate; she's a law unto herself. [Second half of 1800s]
See also: law, unto
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

a law unto yourself

COMMON If you describe a person or organization as a law unto themselves, you mean that they do what they want, ignoring laws, rules, or usual ways of doing things. He does his work well but in an unconventional way. He is truly a law unto himself. Most athletic departments are pretty much a law unto themselves — unaccountable in terms of where this money goes.
See also: law, unto
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

a law unto himˈself, herˈself, etc.

a person who does what they want, even when this is against the rules and customs of a group or society in general: That man is a law unto himself. He comes to work when he likes, and when he’s here he doesn’t do what he’s supposed to do.
See also: law, unto
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

a law unto (oneself)

A totally independent operator: An executive who is a law unto herself.
See also: law, unto
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in classic literature ?
Likewise beautiful women have always been a law unto themselves.
In this savage world where there was no law the Big Bwana was law unto himself and all who dwelt about him.
It was as if she had been made afresh out of new elements, and must perforce be permitted to live her own life, and be a law unto herself without her eccentricities being reckoned to her for a crime.
There was not enough sea, though, to disturb even a dory's tackle, but the Carrie Pitman was a law unto herself.
We have become law unto ourselves even to the extent that we can throw rubbish in the nearest open drain because for every rule there is an exception.
Tanya Starling They are a law unto themselves, and everyone lets them continue to get away with it.
"Cosmetic firms bringing in tighter controls to protect young people's mental health is a major step forward, but voluntary steps on their own mean mental health too often will still be left in the hands of providers operating as a law unto themselves," he said.
Professor Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said: "Cosmetic firms bringing in tighter controls to protect young people's mental health is a major step forward, but voluntary steps on their own mean mental health too often will still be left in the hands of providers operating as a law unto themselves."
THE authorities seem oblivious to the shenanigans of school transport operators, who have become a law unto themselves.
Bailiffs have become a law unto themselves as they know they can get away with breaking rules."
"What the DPP is saying is that he is the law unto himself.
Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: "Too often bailiffs, and the firms they work for, are a law unto themselves.
"The problem is that the FA is a law unto itself," said the director of football at Queens Park Rangers (left).
This is a company that seems to be a law unto itself in the way it operates its business.