Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search



Etymology 1[edit]

Of dialectal origin, compare Middle English louten "to bow, bend low, stoop over" from Old English lūtan from Proto-Germanic *leut-. Cognate with Old Norse lútr(stooping), Gothic 𐌻𐌿𐍄𐍉𐌽(lutōn, to deceive). Non-Germanic cognates are probably Old Church Slavonic лоудити(luditi, to deceive)[1], Serbo-Croatian луд(lud) and Albanian lut(to beg, pray).


lout (plural louts)

  1. A troublemaker, often violent; a rude violent person; a yob.
    • 1906, Stanley J[ohn] Weyman, chapter I, in Chippinge Borough[1], New York, N.Y.: McClure, Phillips & Co., OCLC 580270828:
      But the lout looked only to his market, and was not easily repulsed. ¶ "He's there, I tell you," he persisted. "And for threepence I'll get you to see him. Come on, your honour! It's many a Westminster election I've seen, and beer running, from Mr. Fox, [] when maybe it's your honour's going to stand! Anyway, it's, Down with the mongers!"
  2. A clownish, awkward fellow; a bumpkin.
    • c. 1570–1586, Sidney, Sir Philip, “Book I”, in The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia:
      The fair Pamela, whose noble heart I find doth greatly disdain, that the trust of her virtue is reposed in such a lout's hands, as Dametas, had yet, to shew an obedience, taken on shepherdish apparel []
    • c. 1589–1593, Shakespeare, William, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act 4, Scene 4:
      Sebastian, I have entertained thee, / Partly that I have need of such a youth / That can with some discretion do my business, / For 'tis no trusting to yond foolish lout;
Derived terms[edit]


lout (third-person singular simple present louts, present participle louting, simple past and past participle louted)

  1. (obsolete, transitive) To treat as a lout or fool; to neglect; to disappoint.

Etymology 2[edit]

Old English lūtan, from Germanic. Cognate with Old Norse lúta, Danish lude(to bend), Norwegian lute(stoop), Swedish luta.


lout (third-person singular simple present louts, present participle louting, simple past and past participle louted)

  1. (intransitive, archaic) To bend, bow, stoop.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, I.i:
      He faire the knight saluted, louting low, / Who faire him quited, as that courteous was [...].
    • 1885, Sir Richard Burton, The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night, vol. 1:
      He took the cup in his hand and, louting low, returned his best thanks [...].


  1. ^ lout”, in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2017.