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

Babs and Riley were entered in the outlaw events (for lure coursing and rat hunt). Gabrielle Copeland Schoeffield, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Taneytown Terrier Trials bring ‘great little’ dogs — 188 of them — to Carroll County," 18 July 2019 Most critics loathed or ignore it, but Kael was infatuated, and her 9,000-word defence of the outlaw biopic earned her a position at the New Yorker. N.b., The Economist, "The singular genius of Pauline Kael," 1 July 2019 While journeying across the rural countryside, Zak crosses paths with Tyler (LaBeouf), an on-the-run outlaw who forms a unique bond with his new runaway pal. Joey Nolfi, EW.com, "Shia LaBeouf forms an adorable bond in sweet Peanut Butter Falcon trailer," 20 June 2019 Peckinpah’s outlaws are neither countercultural folk heroes like Butch and Sundance nor noble old-timers like Cogburn. J.b., The Economist, "Why “The Wild Bunch” ranks among the most influential Westerns," 18 June 2019 By this logic, only an outlaw regime such as Mr. Trump’s can restore freedom, justice and the old ways. Lance Morrow, WSJ, "The Trump War Is a Boomer Battle," 27 Aug. 2018 If Nashville was buttoned-up, the outlaws headed to Texas and cut loose. John Adamian, courant.com, "Willie Nelson to helm Outlaw Music Festival, with Alison Krauss and Phil Lesh, at Xfinity," 7 June 2019 Indeed, there are plenty of legit motorcycling collectives, some of which call themselves riding clubs—as opposed to motorcycle clubs—to further distinguish themselves from the outlaws and thereby minimize potential conflict. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "Where Are Those Motorcyclists Going?," 27 May 2019 At every turn, the game seems to beg you to slow down and simply live as outlaw protagonist Arthur Morgan. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Ars Technica’s best games of 2018," 24 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Rodeo belongs in the dustbin of history, along with Ringling Bros. Circus, SeaWorld’s banned orca shows, and greyhound racing (outlawed in Florida in a 2018 ballot initiative). Letters To The Editor, The Mercury News, "Letter: Rodeo needs to go the way of orca shows and dog racing," 17 July 2019 The red states want the opinion completely outlawing Obamacare upheld, while the blue states and the House have urged the court to sever the tax penalty and let the rest of the ACA stand. Laurel Brubaker Calkins, BostonGlobe.com, "Obamacare court fight pits blue states against red ones — plus Trump," 9 July 2019 Iran might expand the supreme leader’s apparently long-standing fatwa outlawing nuclear weapons in effect turning religious law into secular law. The Economist, "Breaking the nuclear deal ratchets up the conflict between Iran and America," 28 June 2019 While China has laws outlawing cloning, no such regulations prevent gene editing. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Chinese Researcher Claims to Have Used CRISPR to Genetically Alter Twins," 26 Nov. 2018 Updated on August 2 at 2:25 p.m. France voted on August 1 to pass a bill outlawing street harassment, imposing a fine for anyone who catcalls someone on the street, Reuters reports. Andrea Park, Teen Vogue, "France Passed Legislation That Proposes Fines for Sexual Harassment on the Street," 2 Aug. 2018 The female narrator says Brochin voted to ban assault rifles, voted to take away guns from domestic abusers and co-sponsored a law outlawing bump stocks. Pamela Wood, baltimoresun.com, "Ad watch: Brochin TV ad defends gun record, attacks Almond in Baltimore County executive race," 19 June 2018 In other words, the fact that there isn’t an NHL rule outlawing unwanted kissing and licking doesn’t prevent the NHL from punishing a player for engaging in such acts. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "A Look at the Possible Consequences of Brad Marchand's Tactic of Licking Opponents," 6 May 2018 Civil rights activist Linda Brown, who as a Kansas schoolgirl was at the heart of the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision outlawing racial segregation in American public schools, has died at age 76. Steve Gorman, Anchorage Daily News, "Linda Brown Thompson, girl at center of Brown v. Board of Education, dead at 75," 27 Mar. 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

21 Jul 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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