not lawful; contrary to law; illegal.
born out of wedlock; illegitimate.

Origin of unlawful

First recorded in 1250–1300, unlawful is from the Middle English word unlaweful. See un-1, lawful
Related formsun·law·ful·ly, adverbun·law·ful·ness, noun

Synonyms for unlawful

1. illicit. See illegal. 2. bastard, natural.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for unlawfully

unjustly, wrongly, unjustifiably, illicitly, illegitimately

Examples from the Web for unlawfully

Contemporary Examples of unlawfully

Historical Examples of unlawfully

British Dictionary definitions for unlawfully



illicit; immoralunlawful love
an archaic word for illegitimate
Derived Formsunlawfully, adverbunlawfulness, 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

Word Origin and History for unlawfully



c.1300, from un- (1) "not" + lawful. Unlawful assembly is recorded in statutes from late 15c. Related: Unlawfully.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper