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See more synonyms for lout on Thesaurus.com
  1. an awkward, stupid person; clumsy, ill-mannered boor; oaf.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to flout; treat with contempt; scorn.
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Origin of lout1

First recorded in 1540–50; perhaps special use of lout2


verb (used with or without object)
  1. to bend, stoop, or bow, especially in respect or courtesy.
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Origin of lout2

1250–1300; Middle English louten, Old English lūtan; cognate with Old Norse lūta; akin to little
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for louts

Historical Examples

  • 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

  • Near the roof, and I am to share it with one of those two louts you saw.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete

    Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

  • You think that these Prussian louts are going to beat the French army?

  • I vote we keep out of that this term, or leave it to the louts.

    Tom, Dick and Harry

    Talbot Baines Reed

  • He springs forward, he louts low and sweeps upwards with Whitefire.

    Eric Brighteyes

    H. Rider Haggard

British Dictionary definitions for louts


  1. a crude or oafish person; boor
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Word Origin

C16: perhaps from lout ²


  1. (intr) archaic to bow or stoop
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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

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper