- The definition of illegal is a person not permitted to be in a country or an act that is against the law.
- An example of illegal as an adjective is the phrase an illegal person, who is someone who is still in the United States after their tourist visa has run out.
- An example of illegal as an adjective is the phrase an illegal act, which is an act such as armed robbery.
Origin of illegal; from French illégal or Medieval Latin illegalis: see in- and amp; legal
- Prohibited by law.
- Prohibited by official rules: an illegal pass in football.
- Unacceptable to or not performable by a computer: an illegal operation.
(comparative more illegal, superlative most illegal)
- Contrary to or forbidden by law, especially criminal law.
- This is illegal, you know!
- Forbidden by established rules.
- 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.
- (colloquial, offensive) An illegal immigrant.
- An illegal resident spy.
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.
From French illégal, from Medieval Latin illegalis. In senses relating to immigration, via clipping from illegal alien or illegal immigrant.