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illegal

[ ih-lee-guhl ]
/ ɪˈli gəl /
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See synonyms for: illegal / illegally on Thesaurus.com

adjective

forbidden by law or statute.
contrary to or forbidden by official rules, regulations, etc.: The referee ruled that it was an illegal forward pass.

noun

Informal: Disparaging and Offensive. illegal alien.

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Origin of illegal

From the Medieval Latin word illēgālis, dating back to 1620–30. See il-2, legal
1, 2. Illegal, unlawful, illegitimate, illicit, criminal can all describe actions not in accord with law. Illegal refers most specifically to violations of statutes or, in organized athletics, codified rules: an illegal seizure of property; an illegal block ( in football ). Unlawful means not sanctioned by or according to law: an unlawful claim to the inheritance; to take unlawful advantage of the trading situation. Illegitimate means lacking legal or traditional right or rights: an illegitimate child; illegitimate use of privileged knowledge. Illicit, which originally meant simply “not permitted,” now most often applies to matters regulated by law with specific emphasis on the way things are carried out: illicit conversion of property; an illicit attempt to control the market. Criminal most often refers to violation of the statutes of penal as opposed to civil law. All felonies are criminal as are all crimes sometimes punishable by death such as murder, arson, and kidnapping: a criminal act.
3. See illegal alien.
il·le·gal·ly, adverb
illegal , illicit (see synonym study at the current entry)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for illegal

illegal
/ (ɪˈliːɡəl) /

adjective

forbidden by law; unlawful; illicit
unauthorized or prohibited by a code of official or accepted rules

noun

a person who has entered or attempted to enter a country illegally
illegally, adverbillegality, noun
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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