Definition of outlaw in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈaʊtlɔː/


1A person who has broken the law, especially one who remains at large or is a fugitive: bands of outlaws held up trains the outlaw Ned Kelly
More example sentences
  • Despite what romantic notions your kind has invented we are criminals, bandits and outlaws.
  • Whilst he is certainly an outlaw and bandit of historic proportions there is little or no connection with the notion of hereditary criminal tribes.
  • If you would accept our escort, we would guard you from bands of villainous outlaws.
fugitive, wanted criminal, outcast, exile, pariah, bandit, desperado, brigand, robber, criminal, black hat
informal villain
1.1 historical A person deprived of the benefit and protection of the law.
Example sentences
  • The Court was clearly concerned that the fact that the plaintiff was a burglar should not mean that he effectively became an outlaw, beyond the protection of the civil law.
  • I do not think that it could be said that a person in breach of some statutory duty or other prohibition thereupon becomes an outlaw, unable to enforce any of his rights against anyone.
  • They are too often treated as outlaws with no protections under the law.


[with object]
1Ban or make illegal: secondary picketing has been outlawed (as adjective outlawed) the outlawed terrorist group
More example sentences
  • The legislation is not there to tackle discriminatory treatment but to outlaw sex discrimination.
  • Not until then did most states outlaw common law marriage.
  • In effect, these measures outlaw political campaigns against arbitrary or illegal detentions.
banish, exile, cast out, exclude, expel, shut out;
repudiate, condemn, put a price on someone's head
1.1 historical Deprive (someone) of the benefit and protection of the law: he lost the estate in 1626, having been outlawed for non-payment of debts
More example sentences
  • He was outlawed, which meant that when he was arrested there was no need for a trial.



Pronunciation: /ˈaʊtlɔːri/
Example sentences
  • He admired outlaws when their outlawry was conducted with daring and intelligence.
  • After the war they spearheaded a broad, politically active peace movement that, however, promoted contending programs, including arms limitation, outlawry of war, and international organization.
  • Then, the movement depended upon moral outlawry to move its agenda forward.


Late Old English ūtlaga (noun), ūtlagian (verb), from Old Norse útlagi, noun from útlagr 'outlawed or banished'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: out¦law

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