Legal Definition and Related Resources of Unlawful

Meaning of Unlawful

In its widest sense, it means that which is contrary to law, that which is illegal and also that which violates some legal right. No action can be founded upon any transaction that is unlawful.

Unlawful Alternative Definition

That to which the law Is opposed. It is not strictly synonymous with “illegal,” though so used quite often. “Illegal” means positively forbidden, while “unlawful” may include things which are immoral, or against public policy. Sweet.

Synonyms of Unlawful


  • actionable
  • against the law
  • contraband
  • criminal
  • forbidden
  • illegal
  • illegitimate
  • illicit
  • inlicitus
  • lawless
  • non legitimus
  • not allowed by law
  • outlawed
  • prohibited
  • transgressive
  • unallowed
  • unauthorized
  • unconstitutional
  • unlicensed
  • unsanctioned
  • unwarranted
  • vetitus
  • wrongful
  • wrongous
  • Associated Concepts: unlawful accumulation
  • unlawful act
  • unlawful assembly
  • unlawful combination
  • unlawful contract
  • unlawful detainer
  • unlawful detention
  • unlawful enrichment
  • unlawful entrapment
  • unlawful entry
  • unlawful flight
  • unlawful force
  • unlawful picketing foreign phrases: Ex pacto illicito non oritur actio
  • From an unlawful agreement
  • no action will lie

Related Entries of Unlawful in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for Unlawful in the American Encyclopedia of Law, the Asian Encyclopedia of Law, the European Encyclopedia of Law, the UK Encyclopedia of Law or the Latin American and Spanish Encyclopedia of Law.

Unlawful in Historical Law

You might be interested in the historical meaning of this term. Browse or search for Unlawful in Historical Law in the Encyclopedia of Law.

Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

Search for legal acronyms and/or abbreviations containing Unlawful in the Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms Dictionary.

Related Legal Terms

You might be also interested in these legal terms:

Mentioned in these terms

Abuse Of Process, Anti-Trust Acts, Assault, Assembly, Auditor, Barratry, Bastardy, Battery, , Bootlegging, Cannabis, Champerty, Civil Conspiracy, Connivance, Conspiracy, Contributory Infringement, Damages, False Arrest, Illegal, Illegal Contract, Illicit Connection, Incroachment, Involuntary Manslaughter, Irresistible Impulse, Kidnap, Lease, Malfeasance, Malice Aforethought, Manslaughter, Misconduct, Moratory Interest, Murder, Nuisance, Private Nuisance, , , , Sex Discrimination, Smith Act, Star-chamber, Tenant, Theft, Threat, Trespass.

Translate Unlawful Search (And Seizure) from English to Spanish

Translation of Unlawful Search (And Seizure) , with examples. More about free online translation into Spanish of Registro (e incautamiento) ilegal and other legal terms is available here.

Translate Unlawful Imprisonment from English to Spanish

Translation of Unlawful Imprisonment , with examples. More about free online translation into Spanish of Secuestro and other legal terms is available here.


You might be interested in these references tools:

Resource Description
Unlawful in the Dictionary Unlawful in our legal dictionaries
Browse the Legal Thesaurus Find synonyms and related words of Unlawful
Legal Maxims Maxims are established principles that jurists use as interpretive tools, invoked more frequently in international law
Legal Answers (Q&A) A community-driven knowledge creation process, of enduring value to a broad audience
Related topics Unlawful in the World Encyclopedia of Law


This definition of Unlawful is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This entry needs to be proofread.

Vocabularies (Semantic Web Information)


Resource Description
Topic Map A group of names, occurrences and associations
Topic Tree A topic display format, showing the hierarchy
Sitemap Index Sitemap Index, including Taxonomies
https://legaldictionary.lawin.org/unlawful/ The URI of Unlawful (more about URIs)


This term is an adjetive.

Etimology of Unlawful

(You may find unlawful at the world legal encyclopedia and the etimology of more terms).

contrary to law, illegal, c. 1300, from un- (1) “not” + lawful. Unlawful assembly is recorded in statutes from late 15c. Related: Unlawfully. Old English had a noun unlagu (“unlaw”) “illegal action, abuse of law.”


See Also

  • Lawful



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