Bill of Rights

Bill of Rights
noun
a statement of fundamental rights and privileges (especially the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution)
Topics: ↑law, ↑jurisprudence
Regions:
Hypernyms: ↑statement
Part Meronyms: ↑First Amendment, ↑Fifth Amendment

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Usage: often capitalized B&R
: a summary of certain fundamental rights and privileges guaranteed to a people against violation by the state — used especially of the first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution

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1. a formal statement of the fundamental rights of the people of the United States, incorporated in the Constitution as Amendments 1-10, and in all state constitutions.
2. (sometimes l.c.) a similar statement of the fundamental rights of the people of any nation.
3. (sometimes l.c.) a statement of the rights belonging to or sought by any group: Our student bill of rights would include the right to dress as we please.
4. an English statute of 1689 confirming, with minor changes, the Declaration of Rights, declaring the rights and liberties of the subjects and settling the succession in William III and Mary II.

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bill of rights see under ↑right1
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Main Entry:bill
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bill of rights
(often with caps) an accepted statement of the rights and privileges of the people or of individuals, which the government or state must not infringe (eg that embodied in the Bill of Rights, 1689, or in the US Constitution)
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Main Entry:right

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bill of rights UK US noun [singular]
an official statement of the most important rights that the citizens of a country have
Thesaurus: equal rightssynonym

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bill of rights,
1. a statement of the fundamental rights belonging to the citizens of a country.
2. any statement of rights or privileges granted to or claimed by a group or class of people.
Bill of Rights,
1. the first ten amendments to the Constitution of the United States, adopted on December 15, 1791, which include a declaration of fundamental rights held by U.S. citizens.
2. an English statute passed in 1689 which confirmed the rights and liberties of English subjects, and settled the succession of the crown in William of Orange and Mary.

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n. Law a statement of the rights of a class of people, in particular
the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1791 and guaranteeing such rights as the freedoms of speech, assembly, and worship
the English constitutional settlement of 1689, confirming the deposition of James II and the accession of William and Mary, guaranteeing the Protestant succession, and laying down the principles of parliamentary supremacy

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↑bill of rights

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ˌbill of ˈrights noun singular
a written statement of the basic rights of the citizens of a country

It was argued that the civil and political status and rights of the citizen must be enshrined in a bill of rights.

 
Culture:
the Bill of Rights [bill of rights the Bill of Rights]
The Bill of Rights is the name given to two different documents.
In the US the Bill of Rights consists of the first ten amendments, or changes, to the US Constitution. All of the amendments were agreed in 1791, two years after the Constitution was signed. They give Americans rights which are now considered basic, but which were unusual at the time. The government cannot limit these rights.
Some of the amendments apply to all Americans. The First Amendment promises freedom of religion and also free speech and freedom of the press, which means that ordinary people and journalists can speak or write what they want, without restriction by the government. The Second Amendment, which gives people the right to own guns, is now the subject of much debate. The Fourth Amendment says that people cannot be arrested and their houses may not be searched, unless the police have a good reason for doing so. The Ninth and Tenth Amendments say that people and states have other rights beside those mentioned in the Constitution, but that the US government has only the powers that are listed there.
Other amendments give rights to people who are accused of a crime. The Fifth Amendment says that people do not have to give evidence against themselves. Somebody who wants to use this right says, ‘ I plead the Fifth ’ or ‘ I take the Fifth ’, and this is often thought to mean that they are afraid to answer questions in case they get into trouble. The Sixth Amendment promises that people who have been accused of a crime will get a trial quickly. In fact, US courts are so busy that people often have to wait a long time, but the government cannot make them wait longer than necessary. The Seventh Amendment gives people who are accused of a serious crime the right to have their case heard by a jury, so that 12 ordinary citizens, not just a judge, decide whether they are innocent or guilty. The Eighth Amendment says that people who are found guilty of a crime cannot be given ‘cruel and unusual punishments’. There has been a lot of discussion about exactly what this means. This amendment was once used as an argument against ↑capital punishment but it was decided later that the death sentence was not a cruel and unusual punishment.
In Britain the Bill of Rights is the informal name of the Act Declaring the Rights and Liberties of the Subject, which was passed by Parliament in 1689. This Act dealt with the relationship between the king or queen and Parliament, not with the rights of individuals. The earlier Declaration of Right had greatly reduced the power of the king or queen, and the new Act helped make Britain a constitutional monarchy, in which real power lies with Parliament, not with the monarch. The Act also prevented a ↑Roman Catholic from becoming king or queen.

Useful english dictionary. 2012.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bill of Rights — / rīts/ often cap B&R: a summary of fundamental rights and privileges guaranteed to a people against violation by the government; esp, cap B&R: the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution see also the constitution in the back matter Merriam… …   Law dictionary

  • Bill of rights — Bill Bill, n. [OE. bill, bille, fr. LL. billa (or OF. bille), for L. bulla anything rounded, LL., seal, stamp, letter, edict, roll; cf. F. bille a ball, prob. fr. Ger.; cf. MHG. bickel, D. bikkel, dice. Cf. {Bull} papal edict, {Billet} a paper.]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Bill of Rights — steht im englischsprachigen Raum für ein Gesetz, das grundlegende Bürgerrechte gewährt. Insbesondere: Bill of Rights (England), in England, ein Gesetz vom 23. Oktober 1689, das die Rechte des englischen Parlaments festlegte. Die Virginia… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Bill Of Rights — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Bill of Rights 1689 (Angleterre) Bill of Rights 1787 (États Unis) Constitution des États Unis d Amérique Ce document provient de « Bill of Rights ».… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Bill of rights — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Bill of Rights 1689 (Angleterre) Bill of Rights 1787 (États Unis) Constitution des États Unis d Amérique Ce document provient de « Bill of Rights ».… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Bill of Rights — Bill′ of Rights′ n. 1) gov a formal statement of the rights of the people of the United States, incorporated in the Constitution as Amendments 1–10, and in all state constitutions 2) gov (l.c.) a statement of the fundamental rights of any group… …   From formal English to slang

  • Bill of rights — (engl., spr. raits, »Gesetz der Rechte«), ein Staatsgrundgesetz der engl. Monarchie, das deren parlamentarische Verfassung begründete; durch die B. wurde die nach dem Sturz König Jakobs II. von einer Kommission des Parlaments vereinbarte… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • bill of rights — n. 1. [B of R ] an act of the British Parliament passed in 1689, to confirm certain rights of the people and of Parliament ☆ 2. [B of R ] the first ten amendments to the Constitution of the U.S., which guarantee certain rights to the people, as… …   English World dictionary

  • bill of rights — plural bills of rights n a written statement of the most important rights of the citizens of a country …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Bill of Rights — Bill of Rights, the part of the US ↑constitution (=the basic laws of the country that cannot easily be changed) which is a list of the rights of US citizens, for example freedom of speech (=the right to say what you want to say, including… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • bill of rights — noun singular an official statement of the most important rights that the citizens of a country have …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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