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outlaw

[out-law]
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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.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to make unlawful or illegal: The Eighteenth Amendment outlawed the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating beverages in the U.S.
  2. to deprive of thebenefits and protection of the law: Members of guerrilla bands who refused to surrender were outlawed.
  3. to prohibit: to outlaw smoking in a theater.
  4. to remove from legal jurisdiction; deprive of legal force.
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adjective
  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of an outlaw.
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Origin of outlaw

before 1150; Middle English outlawe, Old English ūtlaga < Old Norse ūtlagi one outside the protection of the law; see out, law1
Related formsself-out·law, nounself-out·lawed, adjectiveun·out·lawed, adjective

Synonyms for outlaw

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for outlaw

pariah, mobster, crook, hooligan, desperado, fugitive, outcast, bandit, gangster, hoodlum, robber, marauder, prevent, bar, forbid, proscribe, disallow, ban, exclude, condemn

Examples from the Web for outlaw

Contemporary Examples of outlaw

Historical Examples of outlaw

  • The words of the outlaw had struck something in him that was like metal chiming on metal.

  • And that minute he turned me from a scared kid into an outlaw—a killer.

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

  • He was severely blamed in the press for parleying with an outlaw.

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


British Dictionary definitions for outlaw

outlaw

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
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verb (tr)
  1. to put (a person) outside the law and deprive of its protection
  2. (in the US) to deprive (a contract) of legal force
  3. to ban
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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 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.

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v.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper