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[lout] /laʊt/
an awkward, stupid person; clumsy, ill-mannered boor; oaf.
verb (used with object)
to flout; treat with contempt; scorn.
Origin of lout1
First recorded in 1540-50; perhaps special use of lout2


[lout] /laʊt/
verb (used with or without object)
to bend, stoop, or bow, especially in respect or courtesy.
1250-1300; Middle English louten, Old English lūtan; cognate with Old Norse lūta; akin to little Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for louts
Historical Examples
  • It would throw out the worst of the duffers and fools and louts all along the social scale.

    Mankind in the Making H. G. Wells
  • He springs forward, he louts low and sweeps upwards with Whitefire.

    Eric Brighteyes H. Rider Haggard
  • The crew still stands in a gang, exactly like a gang of louts at a street-corner.

    Sea and Sardinia D. H. Lawrence
  • I fancy the louts we have about us durst not venture thither.

  • Chut, Madame, why should I be a prophetess to say that the Prussian louts are going to run?

    The Garden of Swords Max Pemberton
  • I had no notion they bred cattle of that quality amongst these louts of Saxons.

  • And the louts come and pound at the great gate, and we pound back again, and shout at them.

    Tom Brown at Rugby Thomas Hughes
  • General in command of the forces—foreign mercenaries and louts from the country—he has Jan for able captain.

    The Laughing Cavalier Baroness Orczy
  • And the louts come and pound at the great gates, and we pound back again, and shout at them.

    Tom Brown's School Days Thomas Hughes
  • And 'twas more certain, when louts by the way mentioned an ugly big rascal, red-faced of drink, and of never keeping fish-days.

    A Gentleman Player Robert Neilson Stephens
British Dictionary definitions for louts


a crude or oafish person; boor
Word Origin
C16: perhaps from lout²


(intransitive) (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
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Word Origin and History for louts



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
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