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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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There was nothing that I could do but peep through my loophole, and think how silly it all was.

    At Plattsburg Allen French
  • From every side he attacked the problem, but nowhere could he find the loophole he sought.

    Under Arctic Ice H.G. Winter
  • "Let me see if I could take aim," said Joe, deliberately pointing his musket through the loophole.

    Wild Western Scenes John Beauchamp Jones
  • He saw it now, and saw that the only loophole was the chance this combat offered him.

    The Strolling Saint Raphael Sabatini
  • "They know as well as we do that we're here," growled Jim, as he stared through his loophole.

    How Canada was Won F. S. Brereton
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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