Definition of scofflaw in English:



North American
  • A person who flouts the law, especially by failing to comply with a law that is difficult to enforce effectively.

    ‘scofflaws who have accumulated large debts in unpaid parking tickets’
    • ‘Over the years, the Raiders gained a deserved reputation as the brigands of the NFL, signing rebels and scofflaws no other franchise would dare accept.’
    • ‘In other words, figuratively and literally, they stop short of an interior that is like the Asian exterior where Felipe and his Mexican friend could take off their uniforms and play wildly without being scofflaws or enemies.’
    • ‘That so many music downloaders in the surveys are not concerned with matters of copyright does not mean that they are criminals, or even scofflaws, or that they do not understand copyright law.’
    • ‘Young people want the right to dance to grinding rhythms all night long while their parents fear it will turn them into degenerate scofflaws.’
    • ‘How is it going to enforce its will on a persistent scofflaw?’
    • ‘The tax bill has tucked in it, and noticed by virtually no one, a measure that would kill the Mayor's proposal to install cameras to catch red-light scofflaws at the city's most dangerous intersections.’
    • ‘Following the Stamp Act upheavals, he tried to keep smugglers and other scofflaws from flouting Parliament's authority.’
    • ‘Proponents say exam scofflaws are part of the price of annual testing, which shows parents how well a school is really doing, and dismiss the notion that accountability itself is the problem.’
    • ‘The Federal Trade Commission worries that a national Do Not Spam list would actually make the problem worse; scofflaws would only use it to harvest pre-validated addresses.’
    • ‘Another story today contradicts the theory that these scofflaws are a bunch of ne'er-do-well capitalists, or at least most of them.’
    • ‘Critics countered that expanded testing efforts are crucial and that fewer air-polluting scofflaws will be busted if emission levels are measured less frequently.’
    • ‘That all politicians are fiendish scofflaws is a given, as is their role as lackeys greasing the money chutes of big business.’
    • ‘So: whether being a scofflaw entitles one to favorable or unfavorable news coverage depends entirely on the law being scoffed at.’
    • ‘When faced with mass desertion, regiments often lacked the personnel to pursue the scofflaws, and soldiers could count on the sympathy of civilians willing to give them jobs rather than report them.’
    • ‘Of course, the best researchers are flagrant scofflaws about disciplinary boundaries, but most of the rest of us scoff them at our peril.’
    • ‘Such scofflaws and moochers faced boycott and ostracism.’
    • ‘Their location is not meant to prevent scofflaws from racing though a red light, but rather to catch and fine offending motorists - and that's outrageous.’
    • ‘Among those who are guilty of an offense against good taste, he is a scofflaw tormented by felons and scoundrels.’
    • ‘The tax on chemical feedstocks imposes costs on the highly progressive and environmentally responsible corporation just as surely as it imposes costs on the corporate scofflaw.’
    • ‘In fact last year the IRS had about $447 million in uncollected revenue mostly because there are fewer IRS workers and a lack of funding to go after scofflaws.’
    rogue, rascal, scoundrel, good-for-nothing, villain, wretch, unprincipled person, rake, profligate, degenerate, debauchee, libertine
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