Definition of scot-free in English:

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Pronunciation: /skɒtˈfriː/


Without suffering any punishment or injury: the people who kidnapped you will get off scot-free
More example sentences
  • Nobody would expect to get off scot-free after such an ‘altercation’ - especially if, for some odd reason, thousands of people and numerous video cameras saw the whole thing.
  • It would be a travesty if officials are blamed and MPs get off scot-free.
  • I am not suggesting that the villains get off scot-free.
unpunished, without punishment, unreprimanded;
rare scatheless


From the early sense 'not subject to the payment of scot'.

  • The people of Scotland are fond of freedom, but they play no part in this expression, which means ‘without suffering any punishment or injury’. The scot here is a payment corresponding to a modern tax or property rate, so scot-free was ‘tax-free’. The word came from old Scandinavian in the Anglo-Saxon period, and is the equivalent of Old English shot. The first Scots were an ancient Gaelic-speaking people that migrated from Ireland to the northwest of Britain around the end of the 5th century. The name appears in Latin around ad 400, and then in Old English, originally referring to Irishmen, then to the Scots in northern Britain. There is no original person called Scott in the exclamation Great Scott!, which is recorded from the 1880s. It was simply a way to avoid saying ‘God’. Other similar expressions of the time were Great Caesar! and Great Sun!.

Words that rhyme with scot-free

absentee, açai, addressee, adoptee, agree, allottee, amputee, appellee, appointee, appraisee, après-ski, assignee, asylee, attendee, bailee, bain-marie, Bangui, bargee, bawbee, be, Bea, bee, bootee, bouquet garni, bourgeoisie, Brie, BSc, buckshee, Capri, cc, chimpanzee, cohabitee, conferee, consignee, consultee, Cree, debauchee, decree, dedicatee, Dee, degree, deportee, dernier cri, detainee, devisee, devotee, divorcee, draftee, dree, Dundee, dungaree, eau-de-vie, emcee, employee, endorsee, en famille, ennui, enrollee, escapee, esprit, evacuee, examinee, expellee, fee, fiddle-de-dee, flea, flee, fleur-de-lis, foresee, franchisee, free, fusee (US fuzee), Gardaí, garnishee, gee, ghee, glee, goatee, grandee, Grand Prix, grantee, Guarani, guarantee, he, HMRC, indictee, inductee, internee, interviewee, invitee, jamboree, Jaycee, jeu d'esprit, key, knee, Lea, lee, legatee, Leigh, lessee, Ley, licensee, loanee, lychee, manatee, Manichee, maquis, Marie, marquee, me, Midi, mortgagee, MSc, nominee, obligee, Otomi, parolee, Parsee, parti pris, patentee, Pawnee, payee, pea, pee, permittee, plc, plea, pledgee, pollee, presentee, promisee, quay, ratatouille, referee, refugee, releasee, repartee, retiree, returnee, rupee, scree, sea, secondee, see, settee, Shanxi, Shawnee, shchi, she, shea, si, sirree, ski, spree, standee, suttee, tant pis, tea, tee, tee-hee, Tennessee, testee, the, thee, three, thuggee, Tiree, Torquay, trainee, Tralee, transferee, tree, Trincomalee, trustee, tutee, twee, Twi, undersea, vestee, vis-à-vis, wagon-lit, Waikiki, warrantee, we, wee, whee, whoopee, ye, yippee, Zuider Zee

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Line breaks: scot-free

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