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See more synonyms for scot-free on Thesaurus.com
  1. completely free from harm, restraint, punishment, or obligation: The driver of the car escaped from the accident scot-free. The judge let the defendant off scot-free.
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Origin of scot-free

Middle English word dating back to 1200–50; see origin at scot, -free
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for scot-free

Contemporary Examples of scot-free

Historical Examples of scot-free

  • Scottie, you fellows, even when you had Allister to lead you, couldn't get off scot-free from Dozier.

  • I am not going to let them get off scot-free, nasty, wicked thieves.

    The Carroll Girls

    Mabel Quiller-Couch

  • I only wish I had been there; they wouldn't have got off scot-free, the scoundrels!'

  • And if you can show that you weren't there at all—why, out you go, scot-free.

    The Calico Cat

    Charles Miner Thompson

  • Louie was not merely let off scot-free for what she did, but was to have every happiness given to her.

    The Third Miss Symons

    Flora Macdonald Mayor

British Dictionary definitions for scot-free


adverb, adjective
  1. (predicative) without harm, loss, or penalty
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Word Origin for scot-free

C16: see scot and lot
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 scot-free


Old English scotfreo "exempt from royal tax," from scot "royal tax," from Old Norse skot "contribution," literally "a shooting, shot; thing shot, missile," from PIE *skeud- "to shoot, chase, throw" (see shoot (v.); the Old Norse verb form, skjota, has a secondary sense of "transfer to another; pay") + freo (see free (adj.)). First element related to Old English sceotan "to pay, contribute," Dutch schot, German Schoß "tax, contribution." French écot "share" (Old French escot) is from Germanic.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper