Pronunciation: (lē'gu-liz"um), Strict Standards: Non-static method FenSites::linkTo() should not be called statically in /site/html/dictionary/legalism.html on line 81 [key]
1. strict adherence, or the principle of strict adherence, to law or prescription, esp. to the letter rather than the spirit.
a. the doctrine that salvation is gained through good works.
b. the judging of conduct in terms of adherence to precise laws.
3. (cap.) (in Chinese philosophy) the principles and practices of a school of political theorists advocating strict legal control over all activities, a system of rewards and punishments uniform for all classes, and an absolute monarchy.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.