Pronunciation: (lô'ful),[key] —adj. 1. allowed or permitted by law; not contrary to law: a lawful enterprise. 2. recognized or sanctioned by law; legitimate: a lawful marriage; a lawful heir. 3. appointed or recognized by law; legally qualified: a lawful king. 4. acting or living according to the law; law-abiding: a lawful man; a lawful community.