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

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 The movie is based off of the almost too good to be true life story of Forrest Tucker, an outlaw who had a knack of politely robbing banks well into his 80s. Lauren Sanchez, Vogue, "Robert Redford Thanks Blake Lively and Charms Guests at Last Night’s Premiere for The Old Man & the Gun," 21 Sep. 2018 Ostensibly, this dirty lens on life is used to tell an earnest story about outlaws struggling to survive on the edge of modernity. Daniel Starkey, Ars Technica, "Red Dead Redemption II review: Getting muddy in the wide-open frontier," 25 Oct. 2018 Deaths from alcohol increased, as did drinking among teens drawn to the outlaw glamour that Prohibition created. Elizabeth Winkler, WSJ, "‘Liberated Spirits’ Review: When Alcohol Was a Women’s Issue," 25 Oct. 2018 This game’s central band of outlaws is sympathetic at times but never blameless. Daniel Starkey, Ars Technica, "Red Dead Redemption II review: Getting muddy in the wide-open frontier," 25 Oct. 2018 He is also accused of enabling a plot to extort $100,000 from the Mongols outlaw motorcycle gang. Crimesider Staff, CBS News, "Feds: Mexican Mafia runs California jails like an "illegal government"," 24 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Alabama has gone further , outlawing virtually all abortions. Washington Post, "Louisiana governor: Abortion ban decision wasn’t political," 18 June 2019 Frames typically go right to the very bottom of the letters, and so the computer figures that the bottom part of the F is actually an E. The state should outlaw license plate frames. Gary Richards, The Mercury News, "California gas tax to jump nearly 6 cents a gallon on July 1: Roadshow," 12 June 2019 The legislation was opposed by the Maryland Retailers Association, which warned that outlawing foam packaging could hurt small businesses by saddling them with higher costs. Laura Parker, National Geographic, "This state is poised to become the first to ban foam food packaging," 5 Apr. 2019 The city can’t enforce its new ban on cashless stores on state entities, legal experts said, even if their policies would in effect be discriminatory as defined by Philadelphia lawmakers who outlawed cashless retail. Christian Hetrick, https://www.inquirer.com, "These government offices in Philly won’t take cash, disregarding the city’s cashless ban," 6 June 2019 Federal law also outlaws retaliating against a witness in a federal case by threatening the lawful employment of the witness, Robertson said. Cory Shaffer, cleveland.com, "Legal experts stunned by attorney Roger Synenberg’s ‘astonishingly terrible judgment’ in sending anonymous letter calling Cuyahoga County auditor a ‘snitch’," 5 June 2019 In communities that outlaw raising chickens, poultry activists are joining together to challenge the laws. Denise Foley, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need to Know About Raising Backyard Chickens," 14 Aug. 2018 Feinstein introduced legislation in the fall to outlaw that device, as well. Emily Cadei, sacbee, "Donald Trump says he’s open to Dianne Feinstein’s assault weapons age limit – or even a ban | The Sacramento Bee," 28 Feb. 2018 His blindside helmet-to-helmet hit that knocked out Bengals running back Giovani Bernard in the 2015 AFC wild-card game prompted the NFL to outlaw such hits. Kalyn Kahler, SI.com, "After Ryan Shazier, a Strengthened Emphasis on Tackling Technique," 15 Feb. 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

23 Jun 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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