out·law (out’lô′)
n. 1) a) A fugitive from the law. b) A habitual criminal. c) A rebel; a nonconformist: »

a social outlaw.

2) A person excluded from normal legal protection and rights. 3) A wild or vicious horse or other animal.
tr.v. out·lawed, out·law·ing, out·laws 1) To declare illegal: »

outlawed the sale of firearms.

2) To place under a ban; prohibit: »

outlawed smoking in the house.

3) To deprive (one declared to be a criminal fugitive) of the protection of the law.
[Middle English outlaue, from Old English ūtlaga, from Old Norse ūtlagi, from ūtlagr, outlawed, banished : ūt, out; see ud- + lög, law; see legh-.]
out’law′ adj.
Word History: The word outlaw brings to mind the cattle rustlers and gunslingers of the Wild West, but it comes to us from a much earlier time, when guns were not yet invented but cattle stealing was. Outlaw can be traced back to the Old Norse word ūtlagr, "outlawed, banished," made up of ūt, "out," and lög, "law." An ūtlagi (derived from ūtlagr) was someone outside the protection of the law. The Scandinavians, who invaded and settled in England during the 8th through the 11th century, gave us the Old English word ūtlaga, which designated someone who because of criminal acts had to give up his property to the crown and could be killed without recrimination. The legal status of the outlaw became less severe over the course of the Middle Ages. However, the looser use of the word to designate criminals in general, which arose in Middle English, lives on in tales of the Wild West.

Word Histories. 2014.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • outlaw — [ autlo ] n. m. • 1783; mot angl. « hors la loi » ♦ Dans les pays anglo saxons, Brigand qui vivait hors la loi. ⇒ hors la loi. Des outlaws. ● outlaw nom (anglais outlaw) Bandit, hors la loi. ⇒OUTLAW, subst. masc. A. Dans les pays anglo saxons,… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • outlaw — out·law 1 / au̇t ˌlȯ/ n [Old English ūtlaga, from Old Norse ūtlagi, from ūt out + lag lo̡g law] 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… …   Law dictionary

  • Outlaw — bezeichnet: einen Gesetzlosen, siehe Gesetzloser eine Protestbewegung in der Country Musik, siehe Outlaw Bewegung Outlaw (Film), einen britischen Film von Nick Love von 2007 George Outlaw († 1825), US amerikanischer Politiker Siehe auch: Outlaw… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Outlaw — Out law , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Outlawed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Outlawing}.] [AS. ?tlagian.] [1913 Webster] 1. To deprive of the benefit and protection of law; to declare to be an outlaw. Blackstone. [1913 Webster] 2. To remove from legal jurisdiction …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • outlaw — (izg. autlȏ) m DEFINICIJA publ. onaj koji je izvan zakona, bjegunac pred zakonom; odmetnik SINTAGMA outlaw country (izg. outlaw kàntri) glazb. podžanr countryja iz 1970 ih koji zagovara povratak tradicionalnim vrijednostima žanra uz prisvajanje… …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • outlaw — [n] person who is running from the law bandit, brigand, con, criminal, crook, desperado, drifter, ex con, fugitive, gangster, gunslinger*, hood*, hoodlum, hooligan*, jailbird, marauder, mobster, mug*, outcast, pariah, racketeer, robber, wrong… …   New thesaurus

  • outlaw — [out′lô΄] n. [ME outlawe < OE utlaga < ON útlagr, lit., outlawed: see OUT & LAW] 1. Historical a person declared by a court of law to be deprived of legal rights and protection, generally for the commission of some crime: the killing of… …   English World dictionary

  • Outlaw — Out law (out l[add] ), n. [AS. [=u]tlaga, [=u]tlah. See {Out}, and {Law}.] 1. A person excluded from the benefit of the law, or deprived of its protection. Blackstone. [1913 Webster] 2. A person engaging habitually in criminal activity,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Outlaw — Outlaw,der:⇨Verbrecher OutlawGesetzloser,Ausgestoßener,Geächteter,Verfemter,Gesetzesbrecher,Verbrecher …   Das Wörterbuch der Synonyme

  • outlaw — ► NOUN 1) a fugitive from the law. 2) historical a person deprived of the benefit and protection of the law. ► VERB 1) make illegal; ban. 2) historical deprive of the benefit and protection of the law. DERIVATIVES outlawry no …   English terms dictionary

  • Outlaw — Frank (right) and Jesse James (left) in 1872. The James brothers led a gang of outlaws in the Old West era. This article is about the legal concept. For other uses, see Outlaw (disambiguation). In historical legal systems, an outlaw is declared… …   Wikipedia

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