outlaw

noun
out·​law | \ ˈau̇t-ˌlȯ How to pronounce outlaw (audio) \

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 How to pronounce outlaw (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for outlaw

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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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 After running away from a residential nursing home to pursue his dream of becoming a pro wrestler, a man who has Down syndrome befriends an outlaw who becomes his coach and ally. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week: ‘Gandhi’; ‘Forrest Gump’ and more," 26 Feb. 2021 Ironically enough, Texas—the utility outlaw—could be a uniting force between all these regions. Matt Simon, Wired, "Texas' Icy Disaster Makes the Case for Uniting the US Grid," 25 Feb. 2021 She’s the titular outlaw, who has come to her career of crime via her attempts to avenge her father’s death. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, "Jane Fonda's best 20 performances," 23 Feb. 2021 Since its release, Church has continued to draw acclaim for a style that’s reminiscent of old-school outlaw country ala Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings. Troy L. Smith, cleveland, "Who are Eric Church and Jasmine Sullivan, singers of national anthem at Super Bowl LV?," 7 Feb. 2021 The Hardin, named after outlaw John Wesley Hardin is a gorgeous top-break revolver with a color-case frame and charcoal blue barrel. Chris Mudgett, Outdoor Life, "The Best New Handguns For 2021," 25 Jan. 2021 James Mangold remade the 1957 Western classic a half-century later with Russell Crowe and Christian Bale in the lead roles as a notorious outlaw and the rancher who has to bring him in for justice, respectively. Brian Tallerico, Vulture, "The 50 Best Movies on Peacock," 23 Jan. 2021 Out of disguise, the masked outlaw who duels with a grin and woos with ardor, morphs into blasé upper-cruster Don Diego Vega, who suffers from overrefinement and chronic fatigue. Washington Post, "Zorro at 100: Why the original swashbuckler is still the quintessential American action hero," 1 Jan. 2021 The singer-songwriter was born in New York but became identified with the Texas outlaw movement in country music. oregonlive, "The departed: Heroes, celebrities and rogues, from Oregon and beyond, who died in 2020," 28 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb He fashions outlaw pies that triumph despite everyone’s worst wishes for them. Francesco Lastrucci, Smithsonian Magazine, "Inside Naples’ World-Famous Pizza Culture," 20 Feb. 2021 There’s also a dire need to outlaw or at least drastically limit the production and use of lead bullets, which dominate the ammunition market for their cheapness. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "How to Stop Poisoning Children," 19 Feb. 2021 Among the actions Stauber singled out was Haaland's vote to outlaw development on 234,000 acres of the Superior National Forest in northern Minnesota. Jim Spencer, Star Tribune, "Rep. Pete Stauber, some GOP colleagues call on Biden to dump Interior nomination," 26 Jan. 2021 In addition to merger rules, the FTC should outlaw unfair methods of competition in which a firm uses its market dominance or financial firepower to muscle out rivals. Sandeep Vaheesan, Wired, "Antitrust Litigation Isn't Enough. Biden Needs to Go Further," 10 Dec. 2020 Most other cities in San Diego County have passed ordinances to outlaw cannabis sales, even though the state has legalized it. Phil Diehl, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Oceanside sets tax rates for cannabis businesses," 28 Dec. 2020 In 1659, Massachusetts went so far as to outlaw observance of Christmas. Steve Chapman, chicagotribune.com, "Column: How America shaped Christmas, and how Christmas shapes us," 23 Dec. 2020 In a similar spirit, Sen. Jeff Merkley has introduced the Ban Conflicted Trading Act, which prohibits members of Congress from trading individual stocks but does not outlaw their ownership. Francis Cong, Fortune, "Sen. David Perdue’s suspicious stock success shows why members of Congress shouldn’t be allowed to trade individual stocks," 17 Dec. 2020 Proposition 25, which would outlaw the use of cash payments for release from jail while awaiting a court hearing, was behind in late-night returns with 54% of the tallied votes opposed. John Myers, Los Angeles Times, "California voters embrace special rules for app-based drivers, reject rent control plan," 4 Nov. 2020

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 entry 1, law

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Time Traveler for outlaw

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for outlaw

Last Updated

5 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Outlaw.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/outlaw. Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce outlaw (audio) \

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 How to pronounce outlaw (audio) \

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 How to pronounce outlaw (audio) \ noun

History and Etymology for outlaw

Noun

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

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Comments on outlaw

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