From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishillegalil‧le‧gal1 /ɪˈliːɡəl/ ●●● W3 AWL adjective ILLEGALnot allowed by the law SYN unlawful OPP legal illegal drugs They were involved in illegal activities.it is illegal to do something It is illegal to sell tobacco to someone under 16.RegisterIn everyday English, people often say that something is against the law rather than illegal:It is against the law to have a gun without a licence. —illegally adverb They entered the country illegally. —illegality /ˌɪlɪˈɡæləti/ noun [uncountable]COLLOCATIONSadverbscompletely/totally illegalThe deal was completely illegal.highly illegal (=completely illegal)It all sounds highly illegal.strictly illegal formal (=completely illegal – used for emphasis)Phone tapping is strictly illegal.technically illegal (=according to the exact details of a law)This type of boxing, although technically illegal, remained popular until the 1880s.verbsbe illegalIt is illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone under the age of 16.become illegalThe drug did not become illegal until the 1970s.make something illegalHe was involved in the campaign to make hunting illegal.declare something illegalThe strike was declared illegal on July 7.illegal + NOUNan illegal weaponHe was charged with carrying an illegal weapon.illegal drugsShe was found guilty of possession of illegal drugs.an illegal substance (=an illegal drug)Customs officials found an illegal substance in Smith’s luggage.illegal parking/gambling/hunting etcThe fines for illegal parking are likely to increase.illegal immigrantsAn estimated seven million illegal immigrants are brought into Europe each year.illegal activitiesThey were suspected of being involved in illegal activities.an illegal actDriving without insurance is an illegal act.illegal use of somethingThey were found guilty of the illegal use of confidential information. THESAURUSillegal forbidden by lawIt is illegal to sell tobacco to children under 16.illegal immigrantsHe was carrying an illegal weapon.be against the law to be illegal. This phrase is very commonly used in everyday English, instead of saying that something is illegalDriving a car without insurance is against the law.It’s against the law to hit a child.unlawful illegal – a rather formal word, which is used especially when this particular action is considered to be illegal, although there are some situations where such actions can be legalThe judges said that the strike was unlawful.The money was obtained by unlawful means.a verdict of unlawful killingillicit illicit activities or goods are illegal and usually kept secretMarijuana remains the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States.the illicit trade in stolen cattleillegitimate not allowed or acceptable according to rules or agreementsthe illegitimate use of power The election results were declared to be illegitimate. illegitimate share tradingunconstitutional not allowed by a country’s constitution (=set of rules and principles by which a country is governed)The court ruled that the new law was unconstitutional.
Examples from the Corpusillegal• Selling or wearing gas masks was made illegal.• In those days, abortion was illegal.• Gorbachev wanted to make all strikes illegal, but the Soviet parliament refused to accept such a ban.• All unions have been declared illegal by the ruling party.• Most of what they do and others do to them is illegal, deceitful and untruthful.• illegal drugs• Scott was arrested for being in possession of illegal drugs.• These civil actions failed to stop the irrepressible hotelier from operating his illegal ferry system.• Since 1990, it has been illegal for the US to develop or possess biological weapons.• Large numbers of illegal immigrants crossed the border at night.• When David Hale claims he was pressured into making illegal loans, he is branded a crook and a liar.• If the tapes were illegal or pornographic, turning down the money would have made sense.• An increasing number of racist attacks are being carried out by the NPA and other illegal organizations.• It's illegal to make copies of computer programs.• It is illegal to sell tobacco to children under 16.• Found guilty of seditious conspiracy and possession of illegal weapons, they are serving prison terms ranging from 35 to 105 years.• They believe any moves to reduce the number of firearms will only create a black market in illegal weapons.it is illegal to do something• In Florida, it is illegal to carry children younger than 6 that way.• Remember, it is illegal to drive a vehicle with impaired lighting.• And remember that it is illegal to drive with an obscured license plate.• I was educated at his expense and until I repay his investment, it is illegal to employ me directly.• After all, it is illegal to grow hemp in the United States, though sterilized hempseeds may be imported legally.• Everyone knows it is illegal to hoard a spot.• But it is illegal to import it, send it through the post or display it to the general public.• Shopkeepers and cigarette machine operators must display warning notices reminding customers it is illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone under 16.illegalillegal2 noun [countable] American English spoken PGCCRIMEan illegal immigrant Illegals are still slipping through in unacceptable numbers.
Examples from the Corpusillegal• They are not criminals, they are illegals, and only thus by status.• With these clothes who would possibly suspect us of being illegals?• The Clinton administration has beefed up the Border Patrol, but illegals still are slipping though in unacceptable numbers.• The illegals hide in a backroom as pluckers and gutters.• The southwestern United States and California are inundated with illegals.From Longman Business Dictionaryillegalil‧le‧gal /ɪˈliːgəl/ adjective1LAWnot allowed by the lawit is illegal to do somethingIt’s illegal to copy copyrighted movie cassettes.Despite knowing about the illegal activity, the executives failed to tell the government for months.He made illegal payments in connection with contracts awarded to his company. —illegally adverbAn investigation is being conducted to see if anyone illegally profited from the takeover.2COMPUTING involving an instruction, CHARACTER etc that is not allowed in a particular computer program