outlaw

noun
out·​law | \ˈau̇t-ˌlȯ \

Definition of outlaw 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a person excluded from the benefit or protection of the law

2a : a lawless person or a fugitive from the law

b : a person or organization under a ban or restriction

c : one that is unconventional or rebellious

3 : an animal (such as a horse) that is wild and unmanageable

outlaw

verb
outlawed; outlawing; outlaws

Definition of outlaw (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to deprive of the benefit and protection of law : declare to be an outlaw

b : to make illegal outlawed dueling

2 : to place under a ban or restriction

3 : to remove from legal jurisdiction or enforcement

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Other Words from outlaw

Noun

outlaw adjective

Verb

outlawry \ˈau̇t-​ˌlȯr-​ē \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for outlaw

Synonyms: Verb

criminalize, illegalize

Antonyms: Verb

decriminalize, legalize

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Examples of outlaw in a Sentence

Noun

Billy the Kid was one of the most famous outlaws of America's early history.

Verb

That type of gun was outlawed last year. The government passed a bill outlawing the hiring of children under the age of 12.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Deaths from alcohol increased, as did drinking among teens drawn to the outlaw glamour that Prohibition created. Elizabeth Winkler, WSJ, "‘Liberated Spirits’ Review: When Alcohol Was a Women’s Issue," 25 Oct. 2018 This game’s central band of outlaws is sympathetic at times but never blameless. Daniel Starkey, Ars Technica, "Red Dead Redemption II review: Getting muddy in the wide-open frontier," 25 Oct. 2018 He is also accused of enabling a plot to extort $100,000 from the Mongols outlaw motorcycle gang. Crimesider Staff, CBS News, "Feds: Mexican Mafia runs California jails like an "illegal government"," 24 May 2018 The boys have combined to win 71 outlaw kart features over the past two seasons. Dave Kallmann, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Family racing fun gets serious as two talented boys give Travis Kvapil a run for his money," 15 June 2018 In the 1993 film Tombstone, an ailing Doc Holliday, colorfully played by Val Kilmer, commented on the bloody war his friend Wyatt Earp was waging on a gang of outlaws who killed one of his brothers. William Cummings, USA TODAY, "So what is this sexual harassment 'reckoning' everyone is talking about?," 17 Jan. 2018 Those old Western movies—which invented the white hat/black hat dynamic that Westworld borrows—were generally straightforward morality tales, with heroic do-gooders riding into dusty towns to scare off villainous outlaws or savage Indians. Scott Meslow, GQ, "Westworld Is for White People," 7 May 2018 She's rejected freedom to be an outlaw and she's also given up her only plausible piece of leverage. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "Critic's Notebook: 'Handmaid's Tale' Finale a Case of Brilliant Acting, Frustrating Storytelling," 11 July 2018 In 1881, outlaw William H. Bonney Jr., alias ‘‘Billy the Kid,’’ was shot and killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett in Fort Sumner in present-day New Mexico. BostonGlobe.com, "This day in history," 14 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Aptaker, jokingly: In our future, jewelry is outlawed. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, "This Is Us Season 3 Episode 9 Recap: We Finally Find Out Who Randall Is Visiting in the Future," 27 Nov. 2018 Over the last few decades, asbestos has been outlawed in more than 50 countries, which has drastically limited the number of places where it is produced. Alissa Walker, Curbed, "AIA says EPA should impose a ‘blanket ban’ on asbestos," 9 Aug. 2018 Despite evidence that the behavior can be a hazard and a proliferation of distracted-driving proposals during the last several years, only 16 states have outlawed talking on a handheld cell phone in the car. Justine Mcdaniel, Philly.com, "One hand on the wheel, one on the phone: Still legal while driving in Pa.," 6 July 2018 Naturally, that made them outlaw heroes, but the group has a punk-rock bonhomie and some invigorating music to back it up. August Brown, latimes.com, "A farewell concert for 03 Greedo? While the courts decide, fans turn out for a big night of L.A. rap," 17 June 2018 Like many countries in Latin America, where mores have been shaped by the Catholic church, Argentina outlaws most abortions (see map). The Economist, "Argentina moves closer to legalising abortion," 9 June 2018 In 2005, shocked by how widespread bear farming had become, Vietnam outlawed the extraction of bile while allowing farms to keep existing animals so they weren’t just slaughtered. Author: Simon Denyer, Anchorage Daily News, "From hemorrhoids to hangovers: Bear bile is treasured in China, and that’s bad for captive bears," 3 June 2018 In 1973, the Federal Aviation Administration virtually outlawed supersonic flight over U.S. land by civilian aircraft. Bill Van Niekerken, San Francisco Chronicle, "When the Concorde supersonic turbojet roared into the Bay Area," 30 May 2018 The generals ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in 2013 after massive protests over his divisive rule and cracked down against the Brotherhood, outlawing it as a terrorist group. Menna Zaki, Fox News, "Movie star's lifestyle reversal sparks a debate in Egypt," 21 Aug. 2018

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

Noun

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

Verb

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

History and Etymology for outlaw

Noun

Middle English outlawe, from Old English ūtlaga, from Old Norse ūtlagi, from ūt out (akin to Old English ūt out) + lag-, lǫg law — more at out, law

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Dictionary Entries near outlaw

outlandish

outlast

outlaugh

outlaw

outlay

outleap

outlearn

Statistics for outlaw

Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for outlaw

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

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More Definitions for outlaw

outlaw

noun

English Language Learners Definition of outlaw

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who has broken the law and who is hiding or running away to avoid punishment

outlaw

verb

English Language Learners Definition of outlaw (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make (something) illegal

outlaw

noun
out·​law | \ˈau̇t-ˌlȯ \

Kids Definition of outlaw

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who has broken the law and is hiding or fleeing to avoid punishment

outlaw

verb
outlawed; outlawing

Kids Definition of outlaw (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make illegal Dueling was outlawed.

outlaw

noun
out·​law | \ˈau̇t-ˌlȯ \

Legal Definition of outlaw 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a person excluded from the benefit or protection of the law a trespasser is not an outlaw

2 : a lawless person or a fugitive from the law

3 : a person or organization (as a nation) under a ban or restriction or considered to be in defiance of norms or laws considered an outlaw for its support of terrorism

Legal Definition of outlaw (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make illegal

Other Words from outlaw

outlawry \ˈau̇t-​ˌlȯr-​ē \ noun

History and Etymology for outlaw

Noun

Old English ūtlaga, from Old Norse ūtlagi, from ūt out + lag lǫg law

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More from Merriam-Webster on outlaw

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with outlaw

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for outlaw

Spanish Central: Translation of outlaw

Nglish: Translation of outlaw for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of outlaw for Arabic Speakers

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