verb (used with object) Law.
- to restore (an outlaw) to the benefits and protection of the law.
- a relative by marriage.
- a relative by marriage
- (postpositive; in combination) related by marriagea father-in-law
1894, “anyone of a relationship not natural,” abstracted from father-in-law, etc.
The position of the ‘in-laws’ (a happy phrase which is attributed … to her Majesty, than whom no one can be better acquainted with the article) is often not very apt to promote happiness. [“Blackwood’s Magazine,” 1894]
The earliest recorded use of the phrase is in brother-in-law (13c.); the law is Canon Law, which defines degrees of relationship within which marriage is prohibited.