verb (used with object)


of, relating to, or characteristic of an outlaw.

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

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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



(formerly) a person excluded from the law and deprived of its protection
any fugitive from the law, esp a habitual transgressor
a wild or untamed beast

verb (tr)

to put (a person) outside the law and deprive of its protection
(in the US) to deprive (a contract) of legal force
to ban
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

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.


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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper