The word loophole is commonly used, especially in regards to tax law. Few people know the origin of this term. We will examine the meaning of the word loophole, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

A loophole is a miswritten law or ambiguity in the law or a set of rules that allows someone to circumvent the law or a set of rules. The plural form of loophole is loopholes. Interestingly, the word loophole goes back to the sixteenth century and refers to an architectural feature. In castles of the time, narrow slits were built into the walls where archers could shoot at attackers. These narrow slits were known as loopholes, most probably derived from the Dutch word lûpen meaning to watch. The term loophole came into use in the seventeenth century in a figurative sense to mean a small opening or a outlet of escape.


The independent inquiry into child sex abuse in football is examining a loophole open to exploitation by offenders, who can continue working on the fringes of the game despite being barred officially. (The Times)

After he retired, the couple moved to Evart, where Jerry encountered a brochure for a new (and since discontinued) lottery game called Winfall and found the loophole that would help him make millions. (The Battle Creek Enquirer)

In the face of strong opposition from Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, a bipartisan bill to close the so-called “dark store loophole” failed to reach the Assembly or Senate floors for a vote last year, and when Senate Democrats forced the issue again last week, they were once again denied a vote. (The Shepherd Express)

A bizarre legal loophole that means anyone can legally park on your driveway has emerged, amid fears that it could cost thousands of pounds to remove them. (The Daily Mail)

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