From Old Norse by (“town; settlement”) + lag (“[something] laid down; law; fellowship”), apparently a variant of Middle English byrlaw, from Old Norse býjar (“town's; settlement's”) + lǫg (“laws; jurisdiction”). Byrlaw is attested earlier in English but is unattested in Old Norse and the cognates in Scandinavian languages follow the development of bylaw: Danish bylov (“municipal law”), Swedish bylag and byalag.
bylaw (plural bylaws)
- A local custom or law of a settlement or district.
- A rule made by a local authority to regulate its own affairs.
- A law or rule governing the internal affairs of an organization (e.g., corporation or business).
- ^ Oxford English Dictionary, "by-law | bye-law, n." Oxford University Press (Oxford), 1888.