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

Did you know?

Lout belongs to a large group of words that we use to indicate a particular sort of offensive and insensitive person, that group also including such terms as boor, oaf, jerk, and churl. 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—or even if—the verb sense developed into a noun meaning "a brutish person." The noun could have been coined independently, but if its source was the verb, perhaps the awkward posture of one bowing down led over the centuries to the idea that the bowing person was base 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 Amid the crises of cinema and history, Alana gets her overflowing good will and untapped competence into gear, and Gary, a lout in the making, learns to be not just a man but a mensch. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 1 Dec. 2021 Knowing that Seb is a two-timing lout, Pippa is soon compelled to more actively interfere in a relationship that doesn’t concern her, leading to apparent tragedy and then further domestic strife between her and Thomas. Nick Schager, Variety, 8 Sep. 2021 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, 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, 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, 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, 28 Sep. 2020 His father was a real Irish lout—a bartender and an amateur boxer. Dave Schilling, The New Yorker, 22 Aug. 2020 See More

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.

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

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

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Dictionary Entries Near lout

lousy with



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Cite this Entry

“Lout.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lout. Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on lout

Nglish: Translation of lout for Spanish Speakers


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