letter of the law


Also found in: Idioms.

Letter of the Law

The strict and exact force of the language used in a statute, as distinguished from the spirit, general purpose, and policy of the statute.

letter of the law

noun according to the letter, an orthodox interpretation, by chapter and verse, conservaaive interpretation, exact words of the law, exactly as written, literal interpretation, literally interpreted, perfectly as written, precise interpretation, precisely as written, strict construction, strict interpretation
Associated concepts: respecting the spirit and letter of the law
References in classic literature ?
Of course, it was a legal crime, of course, the letter of the law was broken and blood was shed.
The treasurer was of the same opinion: he showed to what straits his majesty's revenue was reduced, by the charge of maintaining you, which would soon grow insupportable; that the secretary's expedient of putting out your eyes, was so far from being a remedy against this evil, that it would probably increase it, as is manifest from the common practice of blinding some kind of fowls, after which they fed the faster, and grew sooner fat; that his sacred majesty and the council, who are your judges, were, in their own consciences, fully convinced of your guilt, which was a sufficient argument to condemn you to death, without the formal proofs required by the strict letter of the law.
When I find it I shall shed some tears on it, and stack up some bouquets and immortelles, and cart away from it some gravel whereby to remember that howsoever blotted by crime their lives may have been, these ruffians did one just deed, at any rate, albeit it was not warranted by the strict letter of the law.
BY the letter of the law, referee Michael Oliver was correct to send off Ibrahim Afellay (left) and Charlie Adam inside the first 31 minutes of Stoke's defeat by West Brom.
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 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 the letter of the law every single game then you will get six or seven sendings off a game," Monk said.
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.
Topics include the Other before the law, doing gender justice, and textuality and law, with entries on the spirit of literature, the Other as the (purloined) letter of the law, outlaws in William Harrison's Description of England, justice and poetry in faerie land, Judith S.
Widiw Christine Gent said: "We all hope justice is carried out swiftly and to the letter of the law.
We agree that this is the letter of the law, and recognize that everyone wants to pay lower taxes.
Tri-C President Jerry Sue Thornton told the newspaper the dispute is over "meeting the letter of the law on their rules and regs.