illegal

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See also: illégal and il·legal

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From French illégal, from Medieval Latin illegalis. In senses relating to immigration, via clipping from illegal alien or illegal immigrant.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

illegal (comparative more illegal, superlative most illegal)

  1. Contrary to or forbidden by law, especially criminal law.
    • 2013 July 19, Peter Wilby, “Finland spreads word on schools”, The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 6, page 30: 
      Imagine a country where children do nothing but play until they start compulsory schooling at age seven. Then, without exception, they attend comprehensives until the age of 16. Charging school fees is illegal, and so is sorting pupils into ability groups by streaming or setting.
    This is illegal, you know!
  2. Forbidden by established rules.
    Moving a pawn backward is an illegal move in chess.
  3. (philately, of an issue printed for collectors) Totally fictitious, and often issued on behalf of a non-existent territory or country.
  4. (of a person, sometimes offensive) Being or doing something illegally.
    illegal immigrant;  illegal logger;  illegal pilot
    1. (chiefly US, sometimes offensive) Being an illegal immigrant; residing in a country illegally.

Usage notes[edit]

The use of "illegal" to describe a person rather than an action is often regarded as offensive.[1]

Synonyms[edit]

Antonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

illegal (plural illegals)

  1. (colloquial, offensive) An illegal immigrant.
  2. An illegal resident spy.
    • 2012, Christopher Andrew, ‘Colder War’, Literary Review, issue 399:
      Anna Chapman, whose glamorous appearance won her more publicity in the Western media than all the other illegals combined, was so successfully deceived by a US sting operation that she handed over her SVR laptop to an FBI agent posing as a Russian.

Usage notes[edit]

The use of "illegal" to describe a person rather than an action is often regarded as offensive, and the use of "illegal" as a noun is especially charged.[1]

Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 https://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/04/03-5

Asturian[edit]

Adjective[edit]

illegal (epicene, plural illegales)

  1. illegal

Antonyms[edit]


German[edit]

Adjective[edit]

illegal (not comparable)

  1. illegal

Synonyms[edit]

Declension[edit]

External links[edit]