unwritten


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Idioms, Wikipedia.
Related to unwritten: unwritten law
See: nuncupative, oral, parol, prescriptive, verbal

LAW, UNWRITTEN, or lex non scripta. All the laws which do not come under the definition of written law; it is composed, principally, of the law of nature, the law of nations, the common law, and customs.

References in classic literature ?
Thirteen hundred years hence -- so says the unwritten law -- the
While Prince Andrew went to report about the purple-faced general, that gentleman- evidently not sharing Boris' conception of the advantages of the unwritten code of subordination- looked so fixedly at the presumptuous lieutenant who had prevented his finishing what he had to say to the adjutant that Boris felt uncomfortable.
In an old book I find columns of notes about works projected at this time, nearly all to consist of essays on deeply uninteresting subjects; the lightest was to be a volume on the older satirists, beginning with Skelton and Tom Nash - the half of that manuscript still lies in a dusty chest - the only story was about Mary Queen of Scots, who was also the subject of many unwritten papers.
By all the unwritten laws of savage warfare it is always the redskin who attacks, and with the wiliness of his race he does it just before the dawn, at which time he knows the courage of the whites to be at its lowest ebb.
Undoubtedly there is an unwritten compact in such matters between a mother and her first-born, and I desire to point out to you that he never breaks it.
Had it not been for the chance that caused Cogdon Nestor to throw down his sleeping rug directly over the hidden instru-ment, it might still be clicking there unheard--and this story still unwritten.
Peculiar in the unwritten annals of the jungle was the proverbial love that had existed between the ape-man and the tribe of Tantor.
He had entered the lists in mortal combat and true to the primitive instincts of the wild--the unwritten law of the jungle--one or both must die before the battle ended.
When the history of this war is written, Ambrose, with flamboyant phrases and copious rhetoric, there will be unwritten chapters, more dramatic, having really more direct effect upon the final issue than even the great battles which have seemed the dominant factors.
He compared the tale, as yet unwritten, with the tales of the sea-writers, and he felt it to be immeasurably superior.
But that there was other history, unwritten, I was yet to learn.
And, further to tempt him, the very last chapter of Labour Tactics and Strategy remained unwritten for lack of a trifle more of essential data which he had neglected to gather.