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

End of days Described in several Norse sources (primarily Snorri Sturluson's 13th century Prose Edda), Ragnarök begins with a brutal winter lasting three times longer than usual, driving mankind to lawless desperation. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "“Wolf’s jaw” star cluster may have inspired parts of Ragnarök myth," 16 Nov. 2018 But the caravan panic isn’t just about the idea of a lawless mob swarming the border. Dara Lind, Vox, "The conspiracy theory that led to the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, explained," 29 Oct. 2018 Out there on those long, empty stretches of seemingly lawless road, our country’s love affair with cars dovetailed perfectly with the machismo of the American West. Ashlea Halpern, Condé Nast Traveler, "Long Live Route 66," 19 July 2018 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

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

3 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on lawless

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lawless

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lawless

Spanish Central: Translation of lawless

Nglish: Translation of lawless for Spanish Speakers

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