\ 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
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 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 Poor Tyrone Mings - the wonderful achievement and memory of making his debut for his country will forever be tainted by this cluster of louts, a situation that could have been avoided if the deserved full ban had been in place. SI.com, "The Only Way to Stamp Out Racism Immediately Is Full Stadium Bans and Competition Expulsions," 16 Oct. 2019 Are the trio of white male subway louts who attack Fleck fantasies of white-supremacist privilege? Armond White, National Review, "Joker: The Latest Installment in the Derangement Franchise," 2 Oct. 2019 To their immense credit, Oasis didn’t traffic in peace-and-love twaddle but reveled in their roles as snarling pub louts who became kings of the pop world. Kyle Smith, National Review, "A Bad Boy Faces Middle Age," 11 Sep. 2019 Trump himself demonstrated the problem by claiming that CNN host Christopher Cuomo should be prohibited from owning guns because Cuomo lost his temper and yelled at a lout who was harassing him and his family at a restaurant. David B. Kopel, National Review, "Trump Must Not Break His Promises to Gun-Rights Supporters," 16 Aug. 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 1 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for lout



English Language Learners Definition of lout

: a stupid, rude, or awkward man

More from Merriam-Webster on lout

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lout

Nglish: Translation of lout for Spanish Speakers

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