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See more synonyms for lawless on Thesaurus.com
  1. contrary to or without regard for the law: lawless violence.
  2. being without law; uncontrolled by a law; unbridled; unruly; unrestrained: lawless passion.
  3. illegal: bootleggers' lawless activity.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for lawless

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • 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


  1. without law
  2. disobedient to the law
  3. contrary to or heedless of the law
  4. uncontrolled; unbridledlawless rage
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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper