Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

scofflaw

[skawf-law, skof-]
See more synonyms for scofflaw on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a person who flouts the law, especially one who fails to pay fines owed.
  2. a person who flouts rules, conventions, or accepted practices.
Show More

Origin of scofflaw

First recorded in 1920–25; scoff1 + law1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for scofflaw

delinquent, culprit, offender, gangster, mobster, hooligan, fugitive, crook, racketeer, felon, hoodlum, scofflaw, thug, convict, lawbreaker, malefactor, outlaw, hood, con, jailbird

British Dictionary definitions for scofflaw

scofflaw

noun
  1. US informal a person who habitually flouts or violates the law, esp one who fails to pay debts or answer summonses
Show More
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 scofflaw

n.

1924, from scoff (v.) + law (n.). The winning entry in a national contest during Prohibition to coin a word to characterize a person who drinks illegally, chosen from more than 25,000 entries; the $200 winning prize was split between two contestants who sent in the word separately: Henry Irving Dale and Miss Kate L. Butler. Other similar attempts did not stick, cf. pitilacker (1926), winning entry in a contest by the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to establish a scolding word for one who mistreats animals (submitted by Mrs. M. McIlvaine Bready of Mickleton, N.J.).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper