Definition of unlawful in English:


See synonyms for unlawful

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  • Not conforming to, permitted by, or recognized by law or rules.

    ‘the use of unlawful violence’
    • ‘they claimed the ban was unlawful’
    • ‘Each of the people who uses or threatens unlawful violence will be guilty of the offence.’
    • ‘The House of Lords had to determine whether the rule amounted to such unlawful discrimination.’
    • ‘If malice aforethought is lacking the unlawful homicide will be manslaughter.’
    • ‘In other words the receipt of the letter led him to believe that immediate unlawful violence would be used.’
    • ‘What is the difference between a contract ex facie unlawful and one that is only illegal as performed?’
    • ‘It therefore is not in breach of any fundamental rights of the Claimants or otherwise unlawful.’
    • ‘Both appellants denied any unlawful intent in relation to explosions in this country.’
    • ‘The Defendants deny the allegation that they have incited others to carry out unlawful actions.’
    • ‘Usury was at first unlawful, although later specific controls were placed on interest rates.’
    • ‘The case before Judge Hoff was not one of high treason but one of unlawful extradition.’
    • ‘Where a conspiracy employs unlawful means and causes injury to a party a claim may also be upheld.’
    • ‘The defendant's motive should not change a lawful act into an unlawful act.’
    • ‘Mr Masciantonio was acting in an unlawful way when he had a fight with the deceased.’
    • ‘It was unlawful for the Home Office to disregard the policy, as it had done in the directions for removal.’
    • ‘He is not acting as a surrogate of the court in determining whether there has been unlawful conduct.’
    • ‘What is he to do if he is met by the defence that the debt or supposed debt arose from unlawful moneylending?’
    • ‘In the present case there is no evidence of bad faith or unlawful conduct on the part of the Council.’
    • ‘They sought their release on the ground that the conditions of their detention rendered it unlawful.’
    • ‘The Government rarely punished persons responsible for torture or unlawful deaths.’
    • ‘This was not somebody trying to improve his situation in life even by unlawful means.’
    illegal, illicit, lawbreaking, illegitimate, against the law
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/ˌənˈlôfəl/ /ˌənˈlɔfəl/