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[loop-hohl] /ˈlupˌhoʊl/
a small or narrow opening, as in a wall, for looking through, for admitting light and air, or, particularly in a fortification, for the discharge of missiles against an enemy outside.
an opening or aperture.
a means of escape or evasion; a means or opportunity of evading a rule, law, etc.:
There are a number of loopholes in the tax laws whereby corporations can save money.
verb (used with object), loopholed, loopholing.
to furnish with loopholes.
Origin of loophole
1585-95; loop2 + hole Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for loophole
  • It was unscrupulous labeling not a loophole in the regulation.
  • The only possible loophole is when someone claims to have had two legitimate emergencies during the semester, both on test days.
  • Skeptics insist, notwithstanding scientific evidence, that there could always be a catch or a loophole.
  • There's no sense in being a typical blogger, commenting on serious matters by trying to find every flaw and loophole in a story.
  • It's about closing a loophole that has enabled employers to get away with active discrimination.
  • That's an increasingly serious loophole given the role that these cards now play in our society.
  • It must be consistent with all prior observations yet expose a functional loophole.
  • They disapproved of the loophole, but rewarded the guy with the wit to exploit it.
  • It would be far better to spell out what you want to do than to leave this sort of loophole.
  • He's been talking with state lawmakers about how to close that loophole.
British Dictionary definitions for loophole


an ambiguity, omission, etc, as in a law, by which one can avoid a penalty or responsibility
a small gap or hole in a wall, esp one in a fortified wall
(transitive) to provide with loopholes
Word Origin
C16: from loop² + hole
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for loophole

also loop-hole, mid-15c., from Middle English loupe "opening in a wall" for shooting through or admitting light (c.1300), perhaps related to Middle Dutch lupen "to watch, peer;" + hole (n.). Figurative sense of "outlet, means of escape" is from 1660s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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