Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

The Best Internet Slang

outlaw

[out-law] /ˈaʊtˌlɔ/
noun
1.
a lawless person or habitual criminal, especially one who is a fugitive from the law.
2.
a person, group, or thing excluded from the benefits and protection of the law.
3.
a person under sentence of outlawry.
4.
a person who refuses to be governed by the established rules or practices of any group; rebel; nonconformist:
one of the outlaws of country music.
5.
Chiefly Western U.S.
  1. a horse that cannot be broken; a mean, intractable horse.
  2. any rogue animal.
verb (used with object)
6.
to make unlawful or illegal:
The Eighteenth Amendment outlawed the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating beverages in the U.S.
7.
to deprive of thebenefits and protection of the law:
Members of guerrilla bands who refused to surrender were outlawed.
8.
to prohibit:
to outlaw smoking in a theater.
9.
to remove from legal jurisdiction; deprive of legal force.
adjective
10.
of, relating to, or characteristic of an outlaw.
Origin of outlaw
1150
before 1150; Middle English outlawe, Old English ūtlaga < Old Norse ūtlagi one outside the protection of the law; see out, law1
Related forms
self-outlaw, noun
self-outlawed, adjective
unoutlawed, adjective
Synonyms
1. desperado, bandit, brigand. 8. proscribe, ban, forbid.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for outlaw
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The words of the outlaw had struck something in him that was like metal chiming on metal.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • And that minute he turned me from a scared kid into an outlaw—a killer.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • He was severely blamed in the press for parleying with an outlaw.

    The Hunted Outlaw Anonymous
  • The friends of the outlaw made a last effort to bring about an accommodation.

    The Hunted Outlaw Anonymous
  • Perhaps the outlaw realized at last how severely he had tried his friends' patience.

    The Hunted Outlaw Anonymous
British Dictionary definitions for outlaw

outlaw

/ˈaʊtˌlɔː/
noun
1.
(formerly) a person excluded from the law and deprived of its protection
2.
any fugitive from the law, esp a habitual transgressor
3.
a wild or untamed beast
verb (transitive)
4.
to put (a person) outside the law and deprive of its protection
5.
(in the US) to deprive (a contract) of legal force
6.
to ban
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for outlaw
n.

Old English utlaga "one put outside the law" (and thereby deprived of its benefits and protections), from a Scandinavian source, cf. Old Norse utlagi (n.) "outlaw," from utlagr (adj.) "outlawed, banished," from ut "out" (see out (adv.)) + *lagu, plural of lag "law" (see law).

[G]if he man to deaðe gefylle, beo he þonne utlah ["Laws of Edward & Guthrum," c.924]
Meaning "one living a lawless life" is first recorded 1880. As an adjective from Old English.

v.

Old English utlagian "to outlaw, banish," from utlaga "an outlaw" (see outlaw (n.)). Related: Outlawed; outlawing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for outlaw

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for outlaw

9
11
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for outlaw