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loop·​hole ˈlüp-ˌhōl How to pronounce loophole (audio)
plural loopholes
: a means of escape
especially : an ambiguity or omission in the text through which the intent of a statute, contract, or obligation may be evaded
: a small opening through which small arms may be fired
: a similar opening to admit light and air or to permit observation


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loopholed; loopholing; loopholes

transitive verb

: to make loopholes in

Examples of loophole in a Sentence

Noun She took advantage of a loophole in the tax law. His attorney has been hunting for a loophole that would allow him to get out of the deal. tried to close a loophole in the new legislation
Recent Examples on the Web
That loophole has paid off big-time for one of the bestselling music artists of all time. Malia Mendez, Los Angeles Times, 11 Nov. 2023 Washington updated its export controls on Tuesday to close a loophole used by Nvidia and Intel to continue selling AI chips to the Chinese market. Bylionel Lim, Fortune, 20 Oct. 2023 When an account exploited a loophole to post only a little collateral but hold large positions, SBF ordered that Alameda take on that account because FTX’s balance sheets were more public than Alameda’s. Condé Nast, WIRED, 10 Oct. 2023 Now multiply that loophole by the millions of homes, businesses, equities and other assets being handed down each year. Andrew Van Dam, Washington Post, 10 Nov. 2023 North Carolina legislation Attorneys and lawmakers are working to change that with the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act, which is a law that could protect families from the legal loopholes of losing their property. Jade Lawson, ABC News, 27 Oct. 2023 For example, the rich increasingly park wealth in real estate instead of offshore accounts while companies can exploit loopholes in the 15% corporate tax minimum. Reuters, CNN, 23 Oct. 2023 The lack of any limits on what athletes could make — even for small amounts of work — created a loophole that boosters quickly exploited. Billy Witz, New York Times, 21 Oct. 2023 The 2023 farm bill now being negotiated may close the loophole. Jeff McDonald, San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 Oct. 2023 See More

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

Word History



loop entry 3

First Known Use


1591, in the meaning defined at sense 2a


1664, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of loophole was in 1591

Dictionary Entries Near loophole

Cite this Entry

“Loophole.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/loophole. Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a small opening
especially : one in a wall through which firearms may be discharged
: a way of escaping something
especially : a way of avoiding a law or regulation
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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