Meaning of unlaw in English:


Pronunciation /ˈʌnlɔː/


  • 1Violation of the law; illegal action; illegality, criminality; injustice; an instance of any of these. In later use also: absence of the rule of law, lawlessness.

    Between the 14th century and its revival in the 19th century, only in occasional Scots use, chiefly in "wrong and unlaw" noun Obsolete minor wrongdoing of a kind not attracting the most severe penalties.

  • 2Scottish historical A fine or other penalty imposed on an offender.


Old English; earliest use found in Wulfstan. From un- + law, probably partly after early Scandinavian (compare Old Icelandic úlǫg (plural noun) injustice, lawlessness (Icelandic ólög, plural noun), Norwegian ulag ill temper, disorder, (regional) evil custom or habit, Old Swedish olagh (Swedish olag), Old Danish ulog (Danish ulov), both in sense ‘violation of the law, illegal action’).