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

ban, bar, enjoin, forbid, interdict, prohibit, proscribe

Antonyms: Verb

allow, let, permit, suffer

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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

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 The cliché of the mad artist is such a staple of this genre that what Deluc and Cassel are attempting to dramatize here – a fusing of the outlaw and the artist – can easily be undervalued. Peter Rainer, The Christian Science Monitor, "'Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti' chronicles Gauguin’s desire to see a new way," 13 July 2018 Right to work outlaws compelling employees to join a union and pay dues as a condition of employment. Allison Kite, kansascity, "Unions give big to block ‘right to work’ in expensive Missouri ballot initiative race," 25 June 2018 The top-tier studio players on the release include Robby Turner, longtime pedal steel guitarist for the late outlaw-country icon Waylon Jennings. Chrissie Dickinson, chicagotribune.com, "Country Lakeshake bringing the best, the brightest and everybody else," 19 June 2018 See, if backpacks are outlawed, only outlaws will have backpacks. Joseph Gerth, The Courier-Journal, "Backpacks don't kill. People do. So why ban them?," 11 June 2018 To Trump, the summit itself has been the big prize, even though his predecessors avoided meeting North Korea's leaders for fear of giving a photo op to an outlaw dynasty. Anchorage Daily News, "Trump says there's no need for extensive preparation before the summit with Kim Jong Un," 10 June 2018 Eventually, his desperation for notoriety mounting, Zama volunteers to hunt down and capture a famed outlaw who remains at large. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Zama Is a Surreal Satire of Colonialism," 19 Apr. 2018 The ease with which Mr. Kristofferson and Mr. Nelson inhabit Cash’s poem is hardly surprising given their decades-long friendship with him and their mutual membership in the outlaw country supergroup, the Highwaymen. Bill Friskics-warren, New York Times, "Johnny Cash’s Poems Get a Second Life as Songs," 3 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Kaufman invites us to contrast a century of progressivism with what happened after 1976, when the United States Supreme Court outlawed limits on campaign spending. Jennifer Szalai, New York Times, "How Conservatives Bet Big on Wisconsin and Won," 11 July 2018 Her shirt featured the Puerto Rican flag, which was outlawed in the commonwealth before it was officially adopted in 1952. Morgan Greene, chicagotribune.com, "After viral video, a refresher course: 5 things to know about Puerto Rico," 10 July 2018 Beer was the gold mine, before selling booze in the stands was outlawed. Scott Ostler, SFChronicle.com, "Going back decades, ballpark vendors share tales from the aisles," 4 July 2018 Since smoking was outlawed inside public spaces in 2007, smokers have had to light up outdoors, though some venues allow smokers to indulge in their habit inside after officially closing for the day. Elena Berton, USA TODAY, "The French still love their cigarettes. But the once chic image is going up in smoke," 2 July 2018 More from Stern: For decades, the Supreme Court has held that Section 2 [of the Voting Rights Act] outlaws gerrymanders that dilute the votes of minority citizens. ... Anne Branigin, The Root, "Supreme Court Punts on Partisan Gerrymandering as Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas Set Sights on Dismantling Voting Rights Act," 25 June 2018 Justice Alito observed that the Ohio supplemental process doesn’t simply delete voters who fail to vote for a specified period, a process that Congress specifically outlawed. Brent Kendall, WSJ, "Supreme Court Backs Ohio Voter Purge," 11 June 2018 See, if backpacks are outlawed, only outlaws will have backpacks. Joseph Gerth, The Courier-Journal, "Backpacks don't kill. People do. So why ban them?," 11 June 2018 Denmark became the latest European country to ban full-face veils on Thursday, effectively outlawing the burqa and niqab worn by some Muslim women. Abigail Abrams, Time, "Denmark Just Became the Latest European Country to Ban Burqas And Niqabs," 1 June 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

Noun

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

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Dictionary Entries near outlaw

outlandish

outlast

outlaugh

outlaw

outlay

outleap

outlearn

Statistics for outlaw

Last Updated

1 Sep 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

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Comments on outlaw

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