lawless

adjective
law·​less | \ˈlȯ-ləs \

Definition of lawless 

1 : not regulated by or based on law

2a : not restrained or controlled by law : unruly

b : illegal

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Other Words from lawless

lawlessly adverb
lawlessness noun

Examples of lawless in a Sentence

the lawless society of the frontier the lawless rioters were destroying everything in sight

Recent Examples on the Web

To some observers, this arrangement seems lawless or even undemocratic. Abbe R. Gluck, WSJ, "Can a Judge Solve the Opioid Crisis?," 7 May 2018 The moves are part of efforts to stop smugglers from operating out of the lawless North African nation. Washington Post, "Spanish rescue ship told not to respond to distress call," 29 June 2018 Subsequently, all eyes turned to the once lawless western borderland with Afghanistan. Hollie Mckay, Fox News, "Trump's wrath forces Pakistan to double down on push to eliminate terrorist sanctuaries," 10 July 2018 The Trump administration has accused China of using predatory tactics in a lawless drive to overtake America’s technological supremacy. Paul Wiseman, The Seattle Times, "What you need to know about the upcoming U.S.-China tariffs," 2 July 2018 Salvini insists that the Libyan coast guard deal with migrants in waters off the largely lawless North African country. Washington Post, "Rescued migrants questioned in Sicily about alleged threats," 13 July 2018 Most migrants from Africa land in Italy, arriving via human-trafficking networks in overcrowded vessels from a lawless Libya. Alessandro Giovanni Borghese, Bloomberg.com, "Why European Tension Is Rising Over Migrants (Again)," 22 June 2018 Areas outside the security wall already have become virtually lawless. Loveday Morris, Washington Post, "With Trump in power, emboldened Israelis try redrawing Jerusalem’s boundaries," 12 Jan. 2018 The next day, Prithviraj sent me out with his driver to see just how lawless the industry can be. Adam Matthews, Newsweek, "The Environmental Crisis in Your Closet," 13 Aug. 2015

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lawless.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of lawless

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near lawless

lawk

law lamb

law Latin

lawless

lawlike

law list

law lord

Statistics for lawless

Last Updated

5 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for lawless

The first known use of lawless was in the 12th century

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More Definitions for lawless

lawless

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of lawless

: having no laws

: not obeying the law

lawless

adjective
law·​less | \ˈlȯ-ləs \

Kids Definition of lawless

1 : having no laws : not based on or controlled by law a lawless frontier town

2 : uncontrolled by law : unruly a lawless mob

Other Words from lawless

lawlessness noun

lawless

adjective
law·​less

Legal Definition of lawless 

1 : not restrained or controlled by law

2 : illegal a lawless act

Other Words from lawless

lawlessly adverb
lawlessness noun

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Comments on lawless

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