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scofflaw

[skawf-law, skof-]
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noun
  1. a person who flouts the law, especially one who fails to pay fines owed.
  2. a person who flouts rules, conventions, or accepted practices.

Origin of scofflaw

First recorded in 1920–25; scoff1 + law1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for scofflaw

scofflaw

noun
  1. US informal a person who habitually flouts or violates the law, esp one who fails to pay debts or answer summonses
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 scofflaw

n.

1924, from scoff (v.) + law (n.). The winning entry in a national contest during Prohibition to coin a word to characterize a person who drinks illegally, chosen from more than 25,000 entries; the $200 winning prize was split between two contestants who sent in the word separately: Henry Irving Dale and Miss Kate L. Butler. Other similar attempts did not stick, cf. pitilacker (1926), winning entry in a contest by the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to establish a scolding word for one who mistreats animals (submitted by Mrs. M. McIlvaine Bready of Mickleton, N.J.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper