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[skot-free] /ˈskɒtˈfri/
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.
Origin of scot-free
1200-50; Middle English; see scot, -free Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for scot-free
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • If anyone could get me off scot-free you are the man to do it, Larmer.

    Name and Fame Adeline Sergeant
  • I am not going to let them get off scot-free, nasty, wicked thieves.

    The Carroll Girls Mabel Quiller-Couch
  • Cushing's coolness, courage, dash, and invincible luck had carried him scot-free through another dare-devil adventure.

  • And if you can show that you weren't there at all—why, out you go, scot-free.

    The Calico Cat Charles Miner Thompson
  • The fact that the thieves had got off scot-free irritated Peter Nikolaevich still more.

  • Louie was not merely let off scot-free for what she did, but was to have every happiness given to her.

    The Third Miss Symons Flora Macdonald Mayor
  • Another five minutes and it would have been scot-free, for it was held by one hook only of the triangle.

    Lines in Pleasant Places William Senior
  • So they were obliged to release the man, and he got off scot-free?

    The Hero of Garside School J. Harwood Panting
British Dictionary definitions for scot-free


adverb, adjective
(predicative) without harm, loss, or penalty
Word Origin
C16: see scot and lot
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 scot-free

Old English scotfreo "exempt from royal tax," from scot "royal tax," from Old Norse skot "contribution," literally "a shooting, shot; thing shot, missile," from PIE *skeud- "to shoot, chase, throw" (see shoot (v.); the Old Norse verb form, skjota, has a secondary sense of "transfer to another; pay") + freo (see free (adj.)). First element related to Old English sceotan "to pay, contribute," Dutch schot, German Schoß "tax, contribution." French écot "share" (Old French escot) is from Germanic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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