from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Defiance of the law; unlawful behavior.
  • noun The act or process of outlawing or the state of having been outlawed.
  • noun A proceeding, doctrine, or condition in which one convicted of a crime is deprived of the protection of the law.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The putting of a person out of the protection of law by legal means; also, the process by which one is deprived of that protection, or the condition of one so deprived: a punishment formerly imposed on one who, when called into court, contemptuously refused to appear, or evaded justice by disappearing.
  • noun The condition of a debt or other cause of action when by reason of lapse of time it can no longer sustain an action. Such a debt still subsists for some other purposes — such, for instance, as enabling the creditor to retain a pledge if he holds a security.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The act of outlawing; the putting a man out of the protection of law, or the process by which a man (as an absconding criminal) is deprived of that protection.
  • noun The state of being an outlaw.
  • noun Defiance of the law; habitual criminality.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun law, UK, Anglo-Saxon A declaration that an individual cannot benefit from the protection of law in a jurisdiction.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun illegality as a consequence of unlawful acts; defiance of the law


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English outlauerie, from Anglo-Norman utlagerie and from Medieval Latin ūtlagāria, both from Old English ūtlaga, outlaw; see outlaw.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

outlaw +‎ -ry


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  • By tradition each new U.K. parliamentary session begins with a reading of the Outlawries Bill in the House of Commons before the legislators start legislating.

    October 22, 2007

  • The reason for the reading of the bill is that Parliament is opened by the Monarch seated in full state in the House of Lords. The Usher of the Black Rod is sent to the House of Commons to desire the members to attend the royal speech. The Commons duly, dutifully troop in, hear their monarch opening Parliament, and then return to their own chamber.

    They then introduce some House of Commons business: the reading of a bill for preventing clandestine outlawries. It is never proceeded with further; but having shown their independence by attending to their own concerns, only then do the Commons debate in reply to the royal speech.

    See for example Hansard of 22 November 2003.

    February 12, 2009

  • Interesting in that in Australia the term reading a bill means to debate/examine/consider a piece of proposed legislation. No one actually stands on the floor of parliament and reads the bill aloud.

    February 12, 2009

  • In the first reading at least, the title of the Bill is read aloud.

    February 12, 2009

  • I move that the bill be read a second time.

    February 12, 2009