AskDefine | Define scofflaw

Dictionary Definition

scofflaw n : one who habitually ignores the law and does not answer court summonses

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Pronunciation

  • skflô, skôf-

Etymology

Coined simultaneously by Mr Henry Irving Dale and Miss Kate L. Butler for a contest held in Boston in 1923 in which a word for "a lawless drinker of illegally made or illegally obtained liquor" was sought during the Prohibition era.

Noun

  1. One who habitually violates minor laws or fails to answer trivial court summonses (such as parking tickets.)

References

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Judas, betrayer, convict, criminal, crook, deceiver, desperado, desperate criminal, double-dealer, felon, fugitive, gallows bird, gangster, gaolbird, jailbird, lawbreaker, mobster, outlaw, public enemy, quisling, racketeer, swindler, thief, thug, traitor, two-timer
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