scofflaw was our Word of the Day on 12/21/2013. Hear the podcast!
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Recent Examples of scofflaw from the Web
People told Byrd, a Weekly Standard reporter, to dump this scofflaw for his crimes against candy.
Ticket scofflaws again escaped booting of cars for anyone with three or more tickets, as council scrapped that recommendation by the city manager.
The agency began cracking down on scofflaws in 2017, following years of abuse of the blue placards.
Chief Pulec says most are written during the midnight shift when scofflaw parking is easily spotted.
Government prosecutors are making use of a federal law called the Hobbs Act to convict beach scofflaws who target tourists.
The suit, filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court last week, comes as City Hall officials are grappling with increasing numbers of scofflaw businesses, who by the thousand have failed to pay their local business taxes.
That scofflaw legacy was central to London authorities’ initial decision to ban Uber.
Twice, scofflaws tried unsuccessfully to steal the Stanley Cup.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scofflaw.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
scofflaw Was Created for a Contest
In 1924, a wealthy Massachusetts Prohibitionist named Delcevare King sponsored a contest in which he asked participants to coin an appropriate word to mean "a lawless drinker." King sought a word that would cast violators of Prohibition laws in a light of shame. Two respondents came up independently with the winning word: scofflaw, formed by combining the verb scoff and the noun law. Henry Dale and Kate Butler, also of Massachusetts, split King’s $200 prize. Improbably, despite some early scoffing from language critics, scofflaw managed to pick up steam in English and expand to a meaning that went beyond its Prohibition roots, referring to one who violates any law, not just laws related to drinking.
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