loop·​hole | \ ˈlüp-ˌhōl How to pronounce loophole (audio) \
plural loopholes

Definition of loophole

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : 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
2a : a small opening through which small arms may be fired
b : a similar opening to admit light and air or to permit observation


loopholed; loopholing; loopholes

Definition of loophole (Entry 2 of 2)

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But Janet Vander Meer, the head of the White River First Nation’s coronavirus response team, argues that the couple should be held accountable in a way that will deter other Canadians from trying to take advantage of the same loophole. Anchorage Daily News, "Wealthy Canadian couple chartered a plane to the Yukon, got vaccines meant for Indigenous elders, authorities said," 26 Jan. 2021 Apple hasn’t said why the loophole existed or why the company began closing it this year. Tim Higgins, WSJ, "Apple’s China App Store Sheds Videogames as Beijing Tightens Internet Control," 23 Dec. 2020 In 2015, the law changed to require that only the names of children who died in such circumstances must be published, leading to the loophole that allows 47 near-death cases to continue to be publicly available. Arizona Republic, "DCS says law prevents from hiding kid's names in past reports, looking for a workaround," 13 Dec. 2020 By Tuesday, officials appeared to have closed that loophole, requiring a photo ID and documentation of a job in the healthcare industry in order to receive a dose of the vaccine. Los Angeles Times, "L.A. officials allowed dozens without medical credentials to get COVID-19 vaccine early," 6 Jan. 2021 Republicans in the state legislature closed that loophole in 2013, with a law specifically targeted blue-leaning Marion, Lake and Allen counties from opening such locations. Chris Sikich, The Indianapolis Star, "Long lines in Marion County should come as no surprise," 30 Oct. 2020 The texting flood has grown as campaigns exploit a loophole in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act that was designed to control robocalls. Author: Linda Robertson Miami Herald, Anchorage Daily News, "That annoying barrage of political texts? It’s only going to get worse," 25 Oct. 2020 But our management found a loophole — a spouse of one of the owners of the management company opened business as an Inspector of Election. Kelly G. Richardson, San Diego Union-Tribune, "HOA Homefront – Addressing some election issues," 7 Nov. 2020 Chipmaker MediaTek was set to do well out of the loophole that let Huawei buy off-the-shelf chips designed by third parties, even if those third parties used U.S. technology. David Meyer, Fortune, "In the 5G race, the prize remains unclear," 20 Aug. 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of loophole


1591, in the meaning defined at sense 2a


1664, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for loophole


loop entry 3

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about loophole

Time Traveler for loophole

Time Traveler

The first known use of loophole was in 1591

See more words from the same year

Statistics for loophole

Last Updated

6 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Loophole.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/loophole. Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for loophole



English Language Learners Definition of loophole

: an error in the way a law, rule, or contract is written that makes it possible for some people to legally avoid obeying it


loop·​hole | \ ˈlüp-ˌhōl How to pronounce loophole (audio) \

Kids Definition of loophole

: a way of avoiding something a loophole in the law

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on loophole

What made you want to look up loophole? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!