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 Still, this adaptation of an O. Henry story tilts all its sympathies toward the outlaw hero the Cisco Kid (Warner Baxter, in a Best Actor–winning role) and away from the pompous white soldier charged with tracking him down. Keith Phipps, Vulture, "The Best Movies That Lost Best Picture at the Oscars," 27 Apr. 2021 His ultimate moment as a go-to guy was the 1984 teen movie Streets of Fire, starring Diane Lane as a rock & roll outlaw. Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone, "A Toast to Jim Steinman: The Songwriting Powder Keg Who Kept Giving Off Sparks," 21 Apr. 2021 Musical arrangements walk the border between outlaw-country and truck-rock. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, "Travis Tritt talks new album, Muscle Shoals connection, Eagles," 1 Apr. 2021 The Sherwood Forest outlaw and his men save King Richard and Maid Marian from Prince John and Sir Guy. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week: ‘An American in Paris’; ‘Ben-Hur’," 26 Mar. 2021 Eric Church might look like a tough-guy outlaw who plays by his own rules, but his real gift has been for bending the rules to his will. Jonathan Bernstein, Rolling Stone, "Eric Church Makes It a Triple With ‘Heart & Soul’," 16 Apr. 2021 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. Ed Stockly, Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week: ‘My Fair Lady’; ‘Marry Poppins’," 19 Mar. 2021 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. Ed Stockly, Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week: ‘My Fair Lady’; ‘Marry Poppins’," 19 Mar. 2021 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. Ed Stockly, Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week: ‘My Fair Lady’; ‘Marry Poppins’," 19 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Such a label would outlaw their activities and expose members and supporters to lengthy prison terms, according to human rights advocates. Fox News, "Russian authorities suspend operations of Navalny's offices," 27 Apr. 2021 Arkansas has a new law banning gender-affirming treatments, and Texas is expected to follow with a bill would not only outlaw gender transition for LGBTQ youth, but label it child abuse. Dawn Ennis, Forbes, "‘No Time For Intolerance:’ Dr. Rachel Levine Has A Job To Do," 21 Apr. 2021 The Protecting the Right to Organize Act, or PRO Act, which the House passed last month, would outlaw mandatory anti-union meetings and impose penalties on employers who violate labor law. New York Times, "Union Loss May Bring New Phase of Campaign Against Amazon," 9 Apr. 2021 Biden’s move comes days after the House passed expansive legislation to create uniform national voting standards, overhaul campaign finance laws, and outlaw partisan redistricting. Amy Gardner, BostonGlobe.com, "Biden signs executive order promoting voting rights on 56th anniversary of ‘Bloody Sunday’," 7 Mar. 2021 If approved, the move would outlaw their operations and could result in jail time for its members. Madeline Roache, Time, "'The Putin Regime Is Trying to Kill Him.' Alexei Navalny's Ailing Health Is Worrying the World," 19 Apr. 2021 And a bill proposed in North Carolina would outlaw gender-affirmative care for people younger than 21. Kristina R. Olson, Scientific American, "Gender-Affirming Health Care Should Be a Right, not a Crime," 13 Apr. 2021 Fighting his way north to free himself and his family, outlaw slave Shields Emperor Green joins forces with abolitionist John Brown for a daring raid in Harpers Ferry, W.Va., in 1859. Ed Stockly, Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week ‘Pulp Fiction’ on BBC America and IFC," 9 Apr. 2021 The ambitious proposal would outlaw hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and a series of other oil extraction methods reviled by environmental activists. Phil Willon, Los Angeles Times, "Newsom asked for a fracking ban. He may get more than he bargained for with ambitious plan," 4 Apr. 2021

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

4 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Outlaw.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/outlaw. Accessed 12 May. 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

Comments on outlaw

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