Originally, the word means an arrowslit, a narrow vertical window in a wall through which an archer could shoot.
Loopholes are distinct from lacunae, although the two terms are often used interchangeably. In a loophole, a law addressing a certain issue exists, but can be legally circumvented due to a technical defect in the law. A lacuna, on the other hand, is a situation whereby no law exists in the first place to address that particular issue.
Use and remediation
Loopholes are searched for and used strategically in a variety of circumstances, including elections, politics, taxes, the criminal justice system, or in breaches of security.
- From Catching Up to Forging Ahead : China’s Policies for Semiconductors (PDF). Retrieved 14 May 2017.