- (UK) IPA(key): /ɪˈliːɡəl/
- (US) enPR: ĭ.lē'gəl, IPA(key): /ɪˈli.ɡəl/, [ɪɫˈli.ɡəɫ]
Audio (Southern England) (file)
- Rhymes: -iːɡəl
- Hyphenation: il‧le‧gal
- 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 pollution
- their 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.
- a. 1654, John Selden, “Money”, in Table-Talk, 3rd edition, London: Jacob Tonson, published 1716, page 74:
- In all times the Princes in England have done ſomething illegal to get Money: But then came a Parliament and all was well, the People and the Prince kiſt and were Friends, and ſo things were quiet for a while.
- 2013 July 19, Peter Wilby, “Finland spreads word on schools”, in 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.
- Breaching certain enacted statutes of positive law; not lawful, not legal (cf. immoral, unethical)
- Forbidden by established rules.
- Synonym: unethical
- Moving a pawn backward is an illegal move in chess.
- (philately, of an issue printed for collectors) Totally fictitious, and often issued on behalf of a non-existent territory or country.
- (of a person, sometimes offensive) Being or doing something illegally.
- illegal immigrant
- illegal logger
- illegal pilot
- (chiefly US, sometimes offensive) Being an illegal immigrant; residing in a country illegally.
The use of "illegal" to describe a person rather than an action is often regarded as offensive; see below.
- (forbidden by law): criminal, felonious, illicit, unlawful, irregular
- (totally fictitious): bogus
- (being an illegal immigrant): undocumented
illegal (plural illegals)
- (obsolete) An illegal act or technique.
- c. 1650, John Spalding, The History of the Troubles and Memorable Transactions in Scotland, from the Year 1624 to 1645, volume II, Aberdeen: T. Evans, published 1792, pages 72–73:
- That whatſoever illegals hath been uſed againſt his friends and ſubjects, by impriſoning them without law, or impoſing fines upon their eſtates, be diſclaimed, and that perſons ſo committed be forthwith diſcharged.
- (colloquial, in the plural, as illegals) Contraband, esp. illegal substances such as drugs.
- 2004, “Reapercussions”, in Dead Like Me, season 1, episode 4, spoken by Mason (Callum Blue):
- …I've got illegals in my bottom…!
- 2008, J. D. Robb [pseudonym; Nora Roberts], Strangers in Death, Penguin, →ISBN:
- “Here’s what I could do,” Eve supposed. “I could slap your head against that wall, while I’m kicking your balls into your belly,” she added to the companion. “And after that, I can have you in restraints while I turn out your pockets. You’re carrying illegals.
- (colloquial, offensive) An illegal immigrant.
- (espionage) A spy working abroad illegally and undercover, without visible ties to his or her country’s authorities.
- 2012, Christopher Andrew, ‘Colder War’, Literary Review, number 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.
- 2022 August 26, Shaun Walker, “Socialite who charmed Nato staff in Naples was Russian spy, say investigators”, in The Guardian:
- Traditionally, illegals have been extremely hard for counterintelligence agencies to find, but in a world of biometric data, facial recognition software and open source investigation possibilities, it has become harder for Russia to keep its illegals below the radar.
- The use of "illegal" to describe a person, rather than an action a person has undertaken, is often regarded as offensive. The use of "illegal" as a noun is especially charged.
- (please provide the title of the work), accessed 22 July 2013, archived from the original on 2013-06-05
- ^ Charles Garcia (2012-07-05) Special to CNN, CNN:
- When you label someone an "illegal alien" or "illegal immigrant" or just plain "illegal," you are effectively saying the individual, as opposed to the actions the person has taken, is unlawful. The terms imply the very existence of an unauthorized migrant in America is criminal. In this country, there is still a presumption of innocence that requires a jury to convict someone of a crime. If you don't pay your taxes, are you an illegal? What if you get a speeding ticket? A murder conviction? No. You're still not an illegal. Even alleged terrorists and child molesters aren't labeled illegals.
- ^ Jacob Chamberlain (2013-04-13), “AP Finally Agrees: “No Human Being is Illegal””, in Common Dreams
- ^ Steve Padilla and Selene Rivera (2016-04-03), “Library of Congress to stop using term 'illegal alien'”, in Los Angeles Times
|Inflection of illegal|
|Indefinte common singular||illegal||—||—2|
|Indefinite neuter singular||illegalt||—||—2|
|1) When an adjective is applied predicatively to something definite, the corresponding "indefinite" form is used.|
2) The "indefinite" superlatives may not be used attributively.
illegal (strong nominative masculine singular illegaler, not comparable)
|number & gender||singular||plural|
|predicative||er ist illegal||sie ist illegal||es ist illegal||sie sind illegal|
(with definite article)
|nominative||der illegale||die illegale||das illegale||die illegalen|
|genitive||des illegalen||der illegalen||des illegalen||der illegalen|
|dative||dem illegalen||der illegalen||dem illegalen||den illegalen|
|accusative||den illegalen||die illegale||das illegale||die illegalen|
(with indefinite article)
|nominative||ein illegaler||eine illegale||ein illegales||(keine) illegalen|
|genitive||eines illegalen||einer illegalen||eines illegalen||(keiner) illegalen|
|dative||einem illegalen||einer illegalen||einem illegalen||(keinen) illegalen|
|accusative||einen illegalen||eine illegale||ein illegales||(keine) illegalen|
- Illegaler (“illegal / illegal immigrant”), Illegale (“illegal / illegal immigrant (female)”)
Audio (Languedocien) (file)
illegal m or f (plural illegaes)
- Obsolete spelling of
|Inflection of illegal|
|Common singular||illegal||mer illegal||mest illegal|
|Neuter singular||illegalt||mer illegalt||mest illegalt|
|Plural||illegala||mer illegala||mest illegala|
|Masculine plural3||illegale||mer illegala||mest illegala|
|Masculine singular1||illegale||mer illegale||mest illegale|
|All||illegala||mer illegala||mest illegala|
|1) Only used, optionally, to refer to things whose natural gender is masculine.|
2) The indefinite superlative forms are only used in the predicative.
3) Dated or archaic