[ skot-free ]
/ ˈskɒtˈfri /


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.

Nearby words

  1. scorpius,
  2. scorsese,
  3. scorsese, martin,
  4. scot,
  5. scot and lot,
  6. scot.,
  7. scot. gael.,
  8. scotch,
  9. scotch blackface,
  10. scotch bonnet

Origin of scot-free

Middle English word dating back to 1200–50; see origin at scot, -free Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for scot-free

British Dictionary definitions for scot-free


adverb, adjective

(predicative) without harm, loss, or penalty

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper