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illegal

[ih-lee-guh l] /ɪˈli gəl/
adjective
1.
forbidden by law or statute.
2.
contrary to or forbidden by official rules, regulations, etc.:
The referee ruled that it was an illegal forward pass.
noun
3.
Informal. illegal alien.
Origin of illegal
1620-1630
1620-30; < Medieval Latin illēgālis. See il-2, legal
Related forms
illegally, adverb
Can be confused
illegal, illicit (see synonym study at the current entry)
Synonyms
1. unlawful; illegitimate; illicit; unlicensed. 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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for illegally
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • To save his place he had sate in that tribunal which had been illegally created for the purpose of persecuting her.

  • In 1923 he entered the United States illegally and remained for two years.

    Secret Armies John L. Spivak
  • Shebeen, an unlicensed place where spirituous liquors are illegally sold.

    The Slang Dictionary John Camden Hotten
  • And when not able to get them legally, they have continued their efforts to get them illegally.

    East-West Trade Trends Harold E. Stassen
  • We shall see that when you are brought up before the courts for illegally practising medicine!

    Bouvard and Pcuchet Gustave Flaubert
British Dictionary definitions for illegally

illegal

/ɪˈliːɡəl/
adjective
1.
forbidden by law; unlawful; illicit
2.
unauthorized or prohibited by a code of official or accepted rules
noun
3.
a person who has entered or attempted to enter a country illegally
Derived Forms
illegally, adverb
illegality, 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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Word Origin and History for illegally
adv.

1620s, from illegal + -ly (2).

illegal

adj.

1620s, from French illégal or directly from Medieval Latin illegalis, from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + Latin legalis (see legal). Term illegal immigrant first recorded 1892 in American English (illegal immigration is from 1887).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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13
17
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