Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


1. Overly strict or rigid adherence to the law or to a religious or moral code.
2. A legal term or expression, especially one that is unnecessarily technical.

le′gal·ist n.
le′gal·is′tic adj.
le′gal·is′ti·cal·ly adv.
Mentioned in ?
References in classic literature ?
For no man is such a legalist as the good Secularist.
The liberal legalist idea, though important, focuses instead on the market.
At the time, however, I complained that hundreds of thousands of Iraqis were killed and that no one seems to care about them, but perhaps Bugliosi's excuse is that he is an American legalist, and his prosecution of Bush is based on the laws of his country that he knows.
The Legalist influence can be seen in the importance of self-control, and the Mohist influence can be found in the importance of helping the masses (Cheung and Chan, 2005).
While he doubts that the legal issues decided by ordinary appellate courts can be resolved using legalist sources alone, he also recognizes that most appellate decisions have low salience with the broader public.
Rambam (Rabbi Moses Maimonides, our greatest legalist and philosopher, who was born in 1135) took "You shall love your fellow as yourself" to command that one must love another in the same manner as a person loves himself or herself.
1059 (2000) (describing legalist theory on importance of law).
In his letter, Archbishop Clarke wrote, "We are concerned that the term 'in communion' is being increasingly interpreted in a legalist sense.
The major Chinese traditions--Confucian, Taoist, Legalist, and Buddhist--all prized "harmony," in the general sense of "getting along," as an ultimate value (although they disagreed on how to achieve it).
As the Legalist emperor Qin Shi's executions of Confucian scholars in the third century B.
16) This study relies primarily on the legalist and entrepreneurial approaches for definition and conceptual framework, respectively.
Contemporary legalist Rabbi Yehuda Henkin questions the status of hair within the category of ervah because it is not mentioned in that context in scripture and hair which is not (17) (Henkin 2003:134).