A statute is a formal law or rule. Whether it's enacted by a government, company, or other organization, a statute is typically written down.

Local governments can pass all kinds of statutes, or written laws, to govern their citizens. A city's government might try to restrict the consumption of alcoholic beverages in public, or make it illegal to pet cats on the weekends. Of course, silly statutes like no cat-petting on weekends can be pretty hard to pass.

Definitions of statute
  1. noun
    an act passed by a legislative body
    synonyms: legislative act
    see moresee less
    show 6 types...
    hide 6 types...
    fair-trade act
    formerly a state law that protected manufacturers from price-cutting by allowing them to set minimum retail prices for their merchandise; eliminated by the United States Congress in 1975
    Stamp Act
    an act passed by the British Parliament in 1756 that raised revenue from the American Colonies by a duty in the form of a stamp required on all newspapers and legal or commercial documents; opposition by the Colonies resulted in the repeal of the act in 1766
    enabling act, enabling clause
    a provision in a law that confers on appropriate officials the power to implement or enforce the law
    FISA, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act
    an act passed by Congress in 1978 to establish procedures for requesting judicial authorization for foreign intelligence surveillance and to create the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court; intended to increase United States counterintelligence; separate from ordinary law enforcement surveillance
    a statute enacted by a city government
    special act
    a legislative act that applies only to a particular person or particular district
    type of:
    act, enactment
    a legal document codifying the result of deliberations of a committee or society or legislative body
  2. adjective
    enacted by a legislative body
    statute law”
    synonyms: codified
    systematically collected and written down
Commonly confused words

statue / statute

Look under the pigeons and you might find a bronze statue in a park, but there’s probably a statute, or law, about how big it can be.

Continue reading...

Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week