- acquired by dishonest, improper, or evil means: ill-gotten gains.
Origin of ill-gotten
First recorded in 1545–55
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for ill-gotten
Perhaps Kim Jong-un, worth a rumored—and ill-gotten—$5 billion, will dig into his own pockets to make good on a 30-year promise.Nobody’s Home at the Hermit Kingdom’s Ghost Hotel
May 22, 2014
Prince Charles also announced a plan to ‘follow the money’ in an effort to strip wildlife poachers of their ill-gotten gains.Harry Leaps To William's Aid
February 13, 2014
He was depicted as the “fence”—or the person taxed with selling all the ill-gotten goods for cold, hard cash.The Real Bling Ring: Where Are They Now?
May 21, 2013
The SEC says it will seek financial penalties as well as “disgorgement of ill-gotten gain.”SEC Sues Six Former Freddie, Fannie Executives Over 'Ill-Gotten Gains'
December 16, 2011
All your ill-gotten gains should be returned to those you stole from, regardless of whose names they are in.What I'd Like to Tell Bernie in Court
March 12, 2009
Half of his wealth is ill-gotten, and this you must give back to the poor from whom he squeezed it.The Crimson Fairy Book
Like most ill-gotten gains, however, it had not remained long in his pocket.Chatterbox, 1906
The disappearance of his ill-gotten treasure was no longer a mystery to him.The Free Lances
But though his wealth was ill-gotten, he knew how to hoard it.
For Charlotte's sake, her father and uncle might keep their ill-gotten wealth.How It All Came Round
L. T. Meade
- obtained dishonestly or illegally (esp in the phrase ill-gotten gains)