[ UK /ʌnlˈɔːfə‍l/ ]
[ US /ənˈɫɔfəɫ/ ]
ADJECTIVE
  1. having no legally established claim
    the wrongful heir to the throne
  2. not morally right or permissible
    unlawful love
  3. not conforming to legality, moral law, or social convention
    an unconventional marriage
    improper banking practices
  4. contrary to or forbidden by law
    illicit trade
    unlawful measures
    an illegitimate seizure of power
    unlawful measures
    an outlaw strike
  5. contrary to or prohibited by or defiant of law
    unlawful money
    unlawful measures
    unlawful measures
    unlawful hunters
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How To Use unlawful In A Sentence

  • by lawful/legal means. Lawful tends to be used in technical or literary contexts. The same is true of the opposites, unlawful and illegal, but illegal is used especially about criminal activities. Legal also means 'connected with the law':the US legal system.
  • The police had a good defence to the claims in false imprisonment and unlawful detention. Times, Sunday Times
  • Courts may punish the unlawful party indirectly by refusing to protect the void civil-law acts.
  • Little protest as to unlawful detention, the necessity of charges, et cetera. THE LAST RAVEN
  • The jury delivered a verdict of unlawful killing.
  • There is no requirement that the act of greater evil should be unlawful, nor that it take place within the jurisdiction.
  • Is there a huge problem with renegade owners unlawfully springing their offending dogs from the doggy jail?
  • by lawful/legal means. Lawful tends to be used in technical or literary contexts. The same is true of the opposites, unlawful and illegal, but illegal is used especially about criminal activities. Legal also means 'connected with the law':the US legal system.
  • She recorded a verdict of unlawful killing. Times, Sunday Times
  • There will be much written about the pros and cons of this case: murder is unlawful, aiding and abetting suicide is illegal. Times, Sunday Times
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