contrary to or without regard for the law: lawless violence.
being without law; uncontrolled by a law; unbridled; unruly; unrestrained: lawless passion.
illegal: bootleggers' lawless activity.

Origin of lawless

First recorded in 1150–1200, lawless is from the Middle English word laweles. See law1, -less
Related formslaw·less·ly, adverblaw·less·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lawless

Contemporary Examples of lawless

Historical Examples of lawless

  • Now don't fancy that Lawless and I are going to run away with you.

  • Which of us are you afraid of, Lawless, or me, or yourself?'

  • The fierce and lawless shall assume the figure of the unrelenting wolf.


    William Godwin

  • He spoke frankly and with considerable regret of these lawless years.

    Ruggles of Red Gap

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • He had high animal spirits, and engaged in lawless enterprises.


    James Anthony Froude

British Dictionary definitions for lawless



without law
disobedient to the law
contrary to or heedless of the law
uncontrolled; unbridledlawless rage
Derived Formslawlessly, adverblawlessness, noun
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 lawless

c.1200, lawelese (see law + -less) Related: Lawlessly; lawlessness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper