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  1. an awkward, stupid person; clumsy, ill-mannered boor; oaf.
verb (used with object)
  1. to flout; treat with contempt; scorn.

Origin of lout1

First recorded in 1540–50; perhaps special use of lout2


verb (used with or without object)
  1. to bend, stoop, or bow, especially in respect or courtesy.

Origin of lout2

1250–1300; Middle English louten, Old English lūtan; cognate with Old Norse lūta; akin to little
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for louting

Historical Examples

  • And now, turning to Yolande, he bared his head, louting full low.

    The Geste of Duke Jocelyn

    Jeffery Farnol

  • Further, his head was louting low on his neck, so that the visitor got no view sufficient for recognition.

    Average Jones

    Samuel Hopkins Adams

  • At the unearthly sound, the cattle also commenced a louting that might easily have been heard at two or three miles off.

British Dictionary definitions for louting


  1. a crude or oafish person; boor

Word Origin

C16: perhaps from lout ²


  1. (intr) archaic to bow or stoop

Word Origin

Old English lūtan; related to Old Norse lūta
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for louting



1540s, "awkward fellow, clown, bumpkin," perhaps from a dialectal survival of Middle English louten (v.) "bow down" (c.1300), from Old English lutan "bow low," from Proto-Germanic *lut- "to bow, bend, stoop" (cf. Old Norse lutr "stooping," which might also be the source of the modern English word), from PIE *leud- "to lurk" (cf. Gothic luton "to deceive," Old English lot "deceit), also "to be small" (see little). Non-Germanic cognates probably include Lithuanian liudeti "to mourn;" Old Church Slavonic luditi "to deceive," ludu "foolish." Sense of "cad" is first attested 1857 in British schoolboy slang.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper