verb (1)
\ ˈlau̇t How to pronounce lout (audio) \
louted; louting; louts

Definition of lout

 (Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to bow in respect lout as the queen passed by
2 : submit, yield louted to the emperor



Definition of lout (Entry 2 of 3)

: an awkward brutish person


verb (2)
louted; louting; louts

Definition of lout (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

: to treat as a lout : scorn

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Did You Know?


Lout belongs to the large group of words we use to indicate an undesirable person, a boor, a bumpkin, a dolt, a clod. We've used lout in this way since the mid-1500s. As early as the 800s, however, lout functioned as a verb with the meaning "to bow in respect." No one is quite sure how the verb sense developed into a noun meaning "a brutish person." Perhaps the awkward posture of one bowing down led over time to the idea that the person was personally low and awkward as well.

Examples of lout in a Sentence

Noun watch where you're going, you big lout! Howard's rude behavior at the country club earned him a reputation as a lout.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun An even closer relationship between Lincoln and popular culture was to the humorist David Ross Locke, who wrote under the pen name Petroleum V. Nasby, a vicious lout who lampooned Northern Democrats for their support of the Confederacy. Washington Post, "The 19th-century culture that shaped Abraham Lincoln," 13 Nov. 2020 Nicholson plays Daryl Van Horne, a wealthy and frighteningly charming lout who becomes romantically entangled with three dissatisfied local women, the informal coven of Cher, Susan Sarandon, and Michelle Pfeiffer. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Horror Movies Are for Everyone," 19 Oct. 2020 Billy Martin held the best winning percentage, .599, among Twins managers, based on having a tremendous club that went 97-65 to win the first American League West in 1969, and then getting fired for being such a lout. Star Tribune, "Twins' Rocco Baldelli won't be manager of the year again, but his work was just as impressive," 28 Sep. 2020 Unlike Billy Martin, previous kingpin for Twins' managerial winning percentage, the odds are several thousand to one against Rocco Baldelli ever getting fired for being a lout. Star Tribune, "Twins' Rocco Baldelli won't be manager of the year again, but his work was just as impressive," 28 Sep. 2020 His father was a real Irish lout—a bartender and an amateur boxer. Dave Schilling, The New Yorker, "The Criterion Channel Presents the Legendary Director Peter Bogdanovich on the Lasting Influence of “Austin Powers in Goldmember”," 22 Aug. 2020 The blistering nonfiction account, written by a morally dubious figure with months of White House access, portrayed President Trump as a venal lout with a toddler's grasp of the world. Jacob Lambert, TheWeek, "John Bolton and our collective yearning for justice," 19 June 2020 Like yours, there were good moments and bad, great bosses and real louts. Chris Erskinecolumnist, Los Angeles Times, "Chris Erskine: I’m leaving The Times. I hope you had a laugh or two in my long run here," 30 Apr. 2020 His male friends — a vaping ugly-American lout played by Will Poulter, and a more sensitive academic specializing in European midsummer traditions, portrayed by William Jackson Harper — have been urging a breakup to no avail. Michael Phillips, chicagotribune.com, "‘Midsommar’ review: ‘Hereditary’ director follows up with a scary vacation trip," 25 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lout.' 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 lout

Verb (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1542, in the meaning defined above

Verb (2)

circa 1530, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for lout

Verb (1)

Middle English, from Old English lūtan; akin to Old Norse lūta to bow down


perhaps from lout entry 1

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Time Traveler for lout

Time Traveler

The first known use of lout was before the 12th century

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Cite this Entry

“Lout.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lout. Accessed 13 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for lout



English Language Learners Definition of lout

: a stupid, rude, or awkward man

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lout

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