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Syllabification: il·le·gal
Pronunciation: /i(l)ˈlēɡəl

Definition of illegal in English:


Contrary to or forbidden by law, especially criminal law: illegal drugs
More example sentences
  • The report also raises concerns over the efforts to tackle illegal drug use in prison.
  • If it cannot protect them from drugs then it should protect them from illegal drugs and gangsters.
  • English law makes illegal a contract to indemnify a person in respect of liability for fraud.
outlawed, banned, forbidden, prohibited, proscribed, taboo;
contraband, black-market, bootleg;
Law malfeasant
informal crooked, shady, sketchy


derogatory , chiefly North American Back to top  
A person present in a country without official authorization.
Example sentences
  • Immigration officials say those illegals come from more than 100 countries.
  • Have a telephone tip line to report illegals to Immigration.
  • People who insist that all illegals be deported have an excellent point, and I think they're right.


early 17th century: from French illégal or medieval Latin illegalis, from Latin in- 'not' + legalis 'according to the law'.



Pronunciation: /ˌi(l)liˈɡalitē/
noun (plural illegalities)
Example sentences
  • I will just say that a member cannot suggest corruption or illegality.
  • How much corruption or illegality is required for an election result to be invalidated?
  • Two months later, New Zealand returned to the Court to argue strongly for the illegality of all nuclear weapons.


Example sentences
  • A company has been prosecuted for illegally dumping material it could not recycle.
  • Villagers were sabotaged by travellers illegally camping there last summer.
  • A house raid netted a huge amount of equipment used for illegally copying music CDs.

Definition of illegal in:

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