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

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 Despite its lingering outlaw image, skateboarding has received one big stamp of approval as a real sport: Skateboarders will compete for the first time in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Shwanika Narayan, SFChronicle.com, "Skateboarding shops make a comeback in San Francisco," 12 Jan. 2020 Still, months later, Qaisari was suddenly free, holding rallies in the north and conducting television interviews surrounded by the gun-toting guards whom the government had declared outlaw militiamen. BostonGlobe.com, "Afghan warlord escapes arrest as troops turn city into war zone - The Boston Globe," 17 Dec. 2019 After all, the city of Nottingham and the surrounding Sherwood Forest are believed to be the traditional haunts of legendary outlaw Robin Hood. Dominic Rech, CNN, "Soccer club donates 3,000 food parcels to the homeless after match washed out," 28 Oct. 2019 It was widely used by authorities to legally form posses to hunt outlaws. Cnn.com Wire Service, The Mercury News, "It’s no longer a crime in California not to help a police officer," 5 Sep. 2019 According to the paper, Loveless was an outlaw had been arrested many times in the early 1900s. Jason Duaine Hahn, PEOPLE.com, "Headless Torso Found in Idaho Grave ID'd as Outlaw Accused of Murdering His Wife in 1916," 2 Jan. 2020 Officials said Loveless was an outlaw and murderer, born in 1870 in Payson, Utah Territory, to Sarah Jane Scriggins and Joseph Jackson Loveless. Janelle Griffith, NBC News, "Human remains found in Idaho cave identified as outlaw who died over 100 years ago," 1 Jan. 2020 The new game, which took more than seven years and hundreds of millions to produce, casts players as a gang of outlaws who ride and rob and shoot their way across the frontier. David Kushner, Outside Online, "Can Video Games Replace the Outdoors?," 8 Oct. 2019 Set in 1875, the plot focuses on Reeves’ attempts to prove his worth by capturing or killing Bob Dozier, an outlaw in what was then called Indian Territory. Mary Colurso | Mcolurso@al.com, al, "How you can see ‘Hell on the Border,’ a Western filmed in Alabama," 12 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Politicians are also constrained by tough fiscal rules enshrined in the constitution that outlaw budget deficits over the economic cycle. Tom Fairless, WSJ, "German Growth Falls to Six-Year Low, Hit by Manufacturing Recession," 15 Jan. 2020 No directly analogous laws were ever passed in the U.S. until December 2015, when Congress included a brief 101-word provision in a budget appropriations bill that effectively outlawed human germline editing in the U.S. Josephine Johnston, STAT, "He Jiankui is going to jail. Would the U.S. criminally prosecute a rogue gene-editing researcher?," 31 Dec. 2019 In September, Parliament came close to passing an overhaul of the criminal code that would have effectively outlawed gay and lesbian relations. New York Times, "A Test for Foreign Teachers in Indonesia: Are You Gay?," 23 Dec. 2019 So far, two state legislators have introduced bills that would outlaw seclusion of any kind. Jennifer Smith Richards, ProPublica, "Illinois Will Allow Prone, Supine Restraints on Children While Schools Learn to Phase Them Out," 5 Dec. 2019 So far, two state legislators have introduced bills that would outlaw seclusion of any kind. Jennifer Smith Richards, chicagotribune.com, "Illinois amends emergency rules, will temporarily allow children to be physically restrained in positions it had banned," 4 Dec. 2019 Groups are gathering signatures to put a question to Colorado voters in November 2020 that would outlaw all abortions after 22 weeks except those to save the life of the mother. Anna Staver, The Denver Post, "Why a NY woman came to Colorado for a 32-week abortion," 13 Oct. 2019 Lawmakers are close to approving a bill that would outlaw the sale and manufacture of new fur clothing and accessories, Sacramento reporter Alexei Koseff writes. Taylor Kate Brown, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Briefing: Another eviction in San Francisco — from a $15 million mansion," 18 July 2019 Maryland Centerville: Lawmakers in Queen Anne’s County are considering a bill that would outlaw balloon releases and impose a $250 fine on those who ignore the mandate. USA TODAY, "Penal farm to produce farm, music under the sea: News from around our 50 states," 16 July 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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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

20 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Outlaw.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/outlawing. Accessed 22 January 2020.

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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 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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for outlaw

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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