loophole

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

Definition of loophole

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

loophole

verb
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

The bill still closes a loophole created by the state’s 2015 medical marijuana law that allows patients to possess the drug but provides them no legal avenue to obtain it. Sanya Mansoor, The Seattle Times, "Medical marijuana oil bill clears Georgia Senate," 29 Mar. 2019 Supervisors on Tuesday also closed a loophole in the city’s rent control provisions. Kurtis Alexander, San Francisco Chronicle, "SF Supes eliminate local fees that many people exiting jail were made to pay," 22 May 2018 Essentially, WordPress’ ToS is filled with loopholes for abusers to spread misinformation. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "WordPress removes several alt-right blogs that spread Sandy Hook conspiracies," 17 Aug. 2018 Newland said the building should have been considered for historical eligibility in La Mesa, but a procedural loophole allowed the city to OK a permit for demolition. Karen Pearlman, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Iconic La Mesa dealership, the Roundhouse of Values, being demolished," 26 June 2018 But the attorney general’s office for Washington state, which is taking the lead on the lawsuit, said the new order won’t do anything to help families already separated and was filled with loopholes. Ian Duncan, baltimoresun.com, "Maryland attorney general plans to sue Trump administration over treatment of families at the border," 21 June 2018 Two consecutive five-year terms, but a loophole allows a third term if parliament calls snap elections sometime during the second term. Bloomberg.com, "How Erdogan Made Turkey's Next Election Like No Other," 2 May 2018 And now the loophole is coming into play in the case of one of Malloy’s current nominees, former Democratic state Sen. Eric Coleman of Bloomfield. Jon Lender, courant.com, "Jon Lender: Loophole Would Give Ex-Senator $110,000 Annual Pension After 3 Years As Judge," 28 Apr. 2018 One loophole is that there's currently no way to block someone from iMessaging your Mac. Kif Leswing, WIRED, "Silence Is Golden: A Guide to Blocking Calls and Texts in iOS 11," 20 Mar. 2018

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

Noun

1591, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1664, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for loophole

Noun

loop entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about loophole

Dictionary Entries near loophole

looped

looper

loop hinge

loophole

loop in

looping snail

loop jump

Statistics for loophole

Last Updated

26 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for loophole

The first known use of loophole was in 1591

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for loophole

loophole

noun

Financial Definition of loophole

What It Is

A loophole is an exception that allows a system to be circumvented or avoided.  It usually refers to legal, taxation, or security strategies that are exploited for personal gain.

How It Works

Loopholes are failures of a system to account for all conditions, variables, or exceptions.   To illustrate a legal loophole, consider a local development law that requires even an unoccupied building to pay real estate taxes so long as it receives a certificate of completion.  In order to avoid paying taxes, a builder may exploit this loophole and choose not to "complete" the building.

An example of a tax loophole is the tax break for small businesses who invest in "heavy vehicles". The tax break applies if the vehicle is used at least 50% of the time for the business.   Business owners may exploit this loophole by upgrading their own vehicles to SUVs, which are considered "heavy" under the tax law, and thereby gain a personal financial advantage.

In most instances, loopholes that lead to excessive abuse are corrected by subsequent regulations and laws.

Why It Matters

While loopholes may save money or allow a purchase that would otherwise not be economical, the use of loopholes is considered questionable. Exploiting loopholes may lead to intensive scrutiny and audits, or even just a feeling of bad faith.  For example, a tax payer should be aware when a tax consultant advises of specific tax advantage of whether the advantage is claimed on the basis of an allowable deduction or a loophole.

Source: Investing Answers

loophole

noun

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

loophole

noun
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

More from Merriam-Webster on loophole

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with loophole

Spanish Central: Translation of loophole

Nglish: Translation of loophole for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of loophole for Arabic Speakers

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

something valued as if it were money

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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