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See also: scotfree


Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English scotfre, from Old English scotfrēo (scot-free; exempt from royal tax or imposts), equivalent to scot (payment; contribution; fine) +‎ -free.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˌskɒtˈfɹi/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˌskɑtˈfɹi/
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scot-free (not comparable)

  1. (colloquial) Without consequences or penalties, to go free without payment.
    Synonym: beat the rap
    to get off scot-free
    • 2021 September 5, Chris McGreal, “Opioids have killed 600,000 Americans. The Sacklers just got off scot-free”, in The Guardian[1]:
      Opioids have killed 600,000 Americans. The Sacklers just got off scot-free [title]
    • 2022 August 4, Elizabeth Williamson, quoting Mark Bankston, “Jurors Award Sandy Hook Parents $4 Million in Damages”, in The New York Times[2], ISSN 0362-4331:
      He added: “It’s been a long journey, and it’s really, really nice to able[sic] to turn and look at my clients, and say ‘he can’t get off scot-free for this. He can’t. You had a defendant who went into that courtroom and said, ‘I think I should have to pay them a dollar.’ And this jury said no.”
  2. (archaic) Free of scot, free of tax.