1. the body of laws of a state or nation regulating ordinary private matters, as distinct from laws regulating criminal, political, or military matters.
2. Rom. Hist.the body of law proper to the city or state of Rome, as distinct from that common to all nations. Cf. jus civile.
3. systems of law influenced significantly and in various ways by Roman law, esp. as contained in the Corpus Juris Civilis, as distinct from the common law and canon or ecclesiastical law.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.