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 outlawry (audio) \ 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

Both Tyler and Zak are outlaws, each one fleeing a different form of authority that is seen as a brutally indifferent form of incarceration. Travis Deshong, Twin Cities, "A thief and a runaway with Down syndrome bond in ‘The Peanut Butter Falcon’," 23 Aug. 2019 The Old West has been larger than life ever since the first dime novelists made legends out of lawmen, outlaws, and assorted frontier scalawags. Patricia Harris, BostonGlobe.com, "Thundering out of an iconic American past: The Buffalo Roundup in South Dakota’s Custer State Park," 20 Aug. 2019 Departments have spent millions in overtime policing the outlaw rallies. Phil Matier, SFChronicle.com, "Soak sideshow crowds with fire hoses — that’s ex-lawmaker Don Perata’s solution," 24 July 2019 Local investigators initially believed Luther had ties to the Vagos motorcycle gang, one of the nation’s largest and most dangerous outlaw biker organizations, Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco said. Los Angeles Times, "Riverside shootout between cop doing his ‘dream job’ and troubled felon ends in heartbreak," 14 Aug. 2019 Interwoven with Nora’s story is a second, seemingly unrelated narrative belonging to Lurie Mattie, an immigrant orphaned young and turned outlaw. Barbara Vandenburgh, USA TODAY, "Téa Obreht follows up 'The Tiger's Wife' with 'Inland' a haunted, fantastical Western," 13 Aug. 2019 Our outstanding federal, state, and local law enforcement partners were able to catch this outlaw, and his prior criminal record finally caught up with him. Megan Stein, Country Living, "'Deadliest Catch' Cast Member Jason 'Tennessee' King Sentenced to 51 Months in Prison," 23 July 2019 Castro fired back by saying other parts of the U.S. criminal code outlaw drug trafficking. Mark Dent, Fortune, "Julián Castro Breaks Out In a Debate Defined By Border Policy and Immigration," 27 June 2019 There is a wealthy widow named Alma (Molly Parker) who has a laudanum addiction, an upstanding sheriff’s wife (Anna Gunn), and resident outlaws like Wild Bill Hickok (Keith Carradine) and Calamity Jane (Robin Weigert). Rachel Syme, The New Republic, "The Outlaw World of Deadwood," 6 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Obama administration limited them to three-month nonrenewable terms, and some states, including California, have outlawed them entirely. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: The 10 worst things Trump has done to harm your healthcare," 20 Aug. 2019 All were sentenced to death but their sentences were commuted to life when the U.S. Supreme Court briefly outlawed capital punishment in 1972. Jonathan Miller, CBS News, "How CBS News covered the Manson murders," 9 Aug. 2019 This month Panama became the first Central American country to outlaw them. The Economist, "The inflexibility of plastic," 25 July 2019 Members of the group say the Chinese government endorsed it until an abrupt about-face in 1999, when it was outlawed. Sabrina Eaton, cleveland.com, "Ohio Falun Gong practitioners rally in Washington to end persecution in China," 18 July 2019 Constructed during the Prohibition era, when the manufacture and sale of alcohol was outlawed, the 1924 home was designed with a hidden passageway and concealed liquor storage. Lauren Beale, latimes.com, "Vintage SoCal: 1920s estate in La Cañada Flintridge is still the bee’s knees," 12 July 2019 When alcohol was outlawed in 1920, people were forced to seek out a new, legal vice. Scottie Andrew And Saeed Ahmed, CNN, "It's 7-Eleven Day, which means free Slurpees for all. Here's what you need to know about America's favorite slush," 11 July 2019 The first restriction of any kind came in 1808, when the federal government outlawed the slave trade. John Steele Gordon, WSJ, "A Short History of American Immigration," 20 Nov. 2018 Enslaved New Yorkers were freed by 1827; by 1873 racial discrimination was outlawed in the city. The Economist, "Music and morals in New York’s ragtime age," 15 Aug. 2019

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

1 Sep 2019

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 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 outlawry (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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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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