When something's legal, or the rules allow it, you can call it lawful. It's lawful to plant a tree in your yard, but it's not lawful to dig up a tree in the city park.

Things that are lawful are allowed or permitted, like driving after you've gotten your drivers license or baking your neighbor a cake. Neither of these things is prohibited by law, so they're lawful. You have a lawful right to build a cabin on land you own, and it's also lawful to put up a fence. The adjective comes from law, which has an Old English root, lagu, "ordinance, rule, regulation, or a district governed by them."

Definitions of lawful
  1. adjective
    conformable to or allowed by law
    lawful methods of dissent”
    law-abiding, observant
    (of individuals) adhering strictly to laws and rules and customs
    established by or founded upon law or official or accepted rules
    square, straight
    characterized by honesty and fairness
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    contrary to or prohibited by or defiant of law
    lawless, outlaw
    disobedient to or defiant of law
    lawless, wide-open
    lax in enforcing laws
    unlawfully violating the rights of others
    prohibited by law or by official or accepted rules
    corrupt, crooked
    not straight; dishonest or immoral or evasive
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  2. adjective
    authorized, sanctioned by, or in accordance with law
    synonyms: legitimate, licit
    established by or founded upon law or official or accepted rules
  3. adjective
    having a legally established claim
    “the true and lawful king”
    synonyms: rightful, true
    of marriages and offspring; recognized as lawful
  4. adjective
    according to custom or rule or natural law
    synonyms: rule-governed
    in accordance with fixed order or procedure or principle
Word Family

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