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 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 Octavian became consul at the age of 19, and his colleague in office, Quintus Pedius, put his name on the Lex Pedia, which ended any amnesty and declared every one of Julius Caesar’s assassins an outlaw. Steve Donoghue, The Christian Science Monitor, "‘The Last Assassin’ breathes life into the events of Julius Caesar’s death," 23 Dec. 2020 The setup: Imperial sharpshooter-turned-outlaw Mayfield (Bill Burr) helps Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) go undercover as stormtroopers (juggernaut pilots, to be precise) to infiltrate a mining base. James Hibberd, EW.com, "The Mandalorian has an Office Space Easter egg in Chapter 15," 11 Dec. 2020 In the legend, Robin Hood is a beloved outlaw stealing from the rich to give to the poor. Lucinda Shen, Fortune, "The problem with VC-backed founders who say they don’t care about getting rich," 3 Dec. 2020 The film, which has since begun shooting in the state, follows an outlaw named Nat Love (Majors), who discovers the man (Elba) who killed his parents decades prior will be released from prison. EW.com, "Netflix halts filming on Idris Elba Western The Harder They Fall after positive COVID-19 test," 17 Oct. 2020 Melvin Van Peebles’s groundbreaking celebration of a Black outlaw, released in 1971. J. Hoberman, New York Times, "The Spy Movie That Upset the American Dream," 18 Sep. 2020 The characters associated with the newcomers aren't currently known, but The Harder They Fall will follow an outlaw by the name of Nat Love (Majors), who discovers the man (Elba) who killed his parents decades prior will be released from prison. Nick Romano, EW.com, "Regina King, Lakeith Stanfield, more saddle up for Idris Elba Netflix Western," 11 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 Cincinnati could be first city to outlaw discrimination based on natural hair. Sarah Brookbank, The Enquirer, "Covington bans natural hair discrimination," 29 Oct. 2020 In Europe, Amazon routinely sent a billion items to the landfill each year, a practice that led France to outlaw the destruction of unsold consumer goods. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, "Those holiday returns come with a massive environmental footprint," 4 Dec. 2020 After the Louisville Metro Council voted to ban the use of no-knock warrants in June, several states, including Kentucky, filed bills that would outlaw them. Matt Mencarini, USA TODAY, "Louisville police's 'no-knock' warrants most often targeted Black residents, analysis shows," 2 Dec. 2020 Beijing has this year clamped down on Hong Kong's burgeoning pro-democracy movement with a punitive national security law that purports to outlaw acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. NBC News, "U.S. threatens Beijing with new sanctions over Hong Kong lawmaker suspensions," 12 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

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Outlaw.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/outlaw. Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for outlaw

outlaw

noun
How to pronounce outlaw (audio)

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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