Illegal vs. Unlawful

Illegal vs. Unlawful — Is There a Difference?

Difference Between Illegal and Unlawful

Illegaladjective

Prohibited by law.

Unlawfuladjective

Not lawful; illegal.

Illegaladjective

Prohibited by official rules

an illegal pass in football.

Unlawfuladjective

Contrary to accepted morality or convention; illicit.

Illegaladjective

Unacceptable to or not performable by a computer

an illegal operation.

Unlawfuladjective

Prohibited; not permitted by law (either civil or criminal law; see illegal).

He was charged with unlawful use of a car.

Illegalnoun

A person who is not legally authorized to live and work in a country.

Unlawfuladjective

not conforming to legality, moral law, or social convention;

an unconventional marriageimproper banking practices

Illegaladjective

Contrary to or forbidden by law, especially criminal law.

This is illegal, you know!Nearly 40 million people live in UK areas with illegal air pollutiontheir illegal mining operations in Asia, Africa and elsewhere, are protected by officials and police paid to look the other way – and powerful customers in the construction industry who prefer not to ask too many questions.

Unlawfuladjective

contrary to or prohibited by or defiant of law;

unlawful measuresunlawful moneyunlawful hunters

Illegaladjective

Forbidden by established rules.

Moving a pawn backward is an illegal move in chess.

Unlawfuladjective

not morally right or permissible;

unlawful love

Illegaladjective

Totally fictitious, and often issued on behalf of a non-existent territory or country.

Unlawfuladjective

having no legally established claim;

the wrongful heir to the throne

Illegaladjective

Being or doing something illegally.

illegal immigrant;illegal logger;illegal pilot

Unlawfuladjective

contrary to or forbidden by law;

an illegitimate seizure of powerillicit tradean outlaw strikeunlawful measures

Illegaladjective

Being an illegal immigrant; residing in a country illegally.

Illegalnoun

(obsolete) An illegal act or technique.

Illegalnoun

Contraband, esp. illegal substances such as drugs.

Illegalnoun

An illegal immigrant.

Illegalnoun

(espionage) A spy working abroad illegally and undercover, without visible ties to his or her country’s authorities.

Illegaladjective

prohibited by law or by official or accepted rules;

an illegal chess move