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

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 Inland navigates the lives of two characters: Nora, a frontierswoman and Lurie, a former outlaw. Annabel Gutterman, Time, "Here Are the 11 New Books You Should Read in August," 30 July 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 The defense has now been outlawed in six states, New York most recently, and many cases have proven that oftentimes, a killer’s claim of ignorance is a lie. Katelyn Burns, Vox, "The intersectional complexities of violence against black trans women," 26 July 2019 Has this practice completely altered the behavior of these massive sharks and made shark attacks on humans more likely when this beef buffet is outlawed? Dan Snierson, EW.com, "Shark Week 2019 schedule: Your guide to all 18 specials," 10 July 2019 Such taxes were used to prevent blacks from voting during the Jim Crow era before being outlawed by the 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1964. Steven Lemongello, orlandosentinel.com, "Amendment 4 law on ex-felon voting rights brings confusion. Here’s what it says and means.," 3 July 2019 Barnett joined several other formerly homeless people and advocates Friday afternoon for a press conference to speak about their experiences since homeless camps were effectively outlawed in Hamilton County last year. Maia Anderson, Cincinnati.com, "'I was no longer allowed to be anywhere.' After Cincinnati homeless camp closed, here's what happened.," 21 June 2019 The financialization of slave-assets thus allowed profiting from slavery even in places that had formally outlawed the slave trade—as had the United States, in 1808. Sarah Churchwell, The New York Review of Books, "‘The Lehman Trilogy’ and Wall Street’s Debt to Slavery," 11 June 2019 In 1860, the schooner Clotilda—the last slave ship to bring African captives to the American South—arrived at the Alabama coast, its hold containing 110 people smuggled into the U.S. more than 50 years after importing slaves was outlawed. National Geographic, "13 destinations for African-American history and culture," 23 May 2019 In 1885, Kansas outlawed the passage of Texas cattle across its borders, and cattlemen were prepared to enforce it. John Maccormack, ExpressNews.com, "Deadly fever ticks are infesting border cattle herds," 2 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

18 Aug 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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not constant or steady

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