law·​break·​er ˈlȯ-ˌbrā-kər How to pronounce lawbreaker (audio)
: a person who violates the law
lawbreaking adjective or noun

Examples of lawbreaker in a Sentence

He admitted to being a lawbreaker. legislation that mandates lengthy prison sentences for chronic lawbreakers
Recent Examples on the Web The sanctions represented a novel attempt to enforce this body of law—to give teeth to often ignored prohibitions and to impose meaningful costs on the most powerful of lawbreakers. Benjamin Alter, Foreign Affairs, 27 Jan. 2017 The premise of my first book (Hello, Shadowlands) is that lawbreakers tend to be rational actors, not just black-hearted ghouls. Patrick Winn, Rolling Stone, 13 Apr. 2024 If stopping lawbreakers in their tracks means breaching an embassy, then so be it, Ecuadorians interviewed over the weekend told The Associated Press. Regina Garcia Cano and Gabriela Molina, The Christian Science Monitor, 9 Apr. 2024 The Kremlin has portrayed Navalny and his supporters as lawbreakers and tools of the West, acting to destabilize Russia. Reuters, NBC News, 6 Mar. 2024 On April 11, 2019, Assange was arrested on a U.S. charge of hacking military computers and dragged from the door of the embassy and taken to Belmarsh Prison in London, which houses some of Britain's most dangerous lawbreakers. Kinsey Crowley, USA TODAY, 20 Feb. 2024 But while Grossman’s defense team seized on the plating issue to paint Erickson as a lawbreaker, the lead prosecutor dismissed the revelation as a years-old red herring. Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times, 16 Feb. 2024 Who besides lawbreakers want their transactions to go utterly undetected by third parties? Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 28 Nov. 2023 In what is one of the strictest bans on the products, lawbreakers face fines and up to four years in jail. Jennifer McDermott and Carlos Mureithi, The Christian Science Monitor, 14 Nov. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'lawbreaker.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of lawbreaker was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near lawbreaker

Cite this Entry

“Lawbreaker.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


law·​break·​er ˈlȯ-ˌbrā-kər How to pronounce lawbreaker (audio)
: a person who breaks the law
lawbreaking adjective or noun

More from Merriam-Webster on lawbreaker

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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