scot free


completely free from harm, restraint, punishment, or obligation: The driver of the car escaped from the accident scot-free. The judge let the defendant off scot-free.

1200–50; Middle English; see scot, free Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
adv, —adj
(predicative) without harm, loss, or penalty
[C16: see scot and lot]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. scotfreo "exempt from royal tax," from scot "royal tax," from O.N. skot "contribution, reckoning, shot" + freo (see free). Related to O.E. sceotan "to pay, contribute," Du. schot, Ger. Schoß "tax, contribution" (see shot). O.Fr. escot (Fr. écot) "share" is a Gmc. loan-word.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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