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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘So: whether being a scofflaw entitles one to favorable or unfavorable news coverage depends entirely on the law being scoffed at.’
    • ‘Following the Stamp Act upheavals, he tried to keep smugglers and other scofflaws from flouting Parliament's authority.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Such scofflaws and moochers faced boycott and ostracism.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Of course, the best researchers are flagrant scofflaws about disciplinary boundaries, but most of the rest of us scoff them at our peril.’
    • ‘Among those who are guilty of an offense against good taste, he is a scofflaw tormented by felons and scoundrels.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Another story today contradicts the theory that these scofflaws are a bunch of ne'er-do-well capitalists, or at least most of them.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘How is it going to enforce its will on a persistent scofflaw?’
    • ‘Critics countered that expanded testing efforts are crucial and that fewer air-polluting scofflaws will be busted if emission levels are measured less frequently.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘That all politicians are fiendish scofflaws is a given, as is their role as lackeys greasing the money chutes of big business.’
    • ‘Young people want the right to dance to grinding rhythms all night long while their parents fear it will turn them into degenerate scofflaws.’
    rogue, rascal, scoundrel, good-for-nothing, villain, wretch, unprincipled person, rake, profligate, degenerate, debauchee, libertine
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