Illegal | Definition, Meaning, Synonyms & Antonyms

Illegal

Casting Light on The Word 'Illegal'

Definition

Illegal is an adjective that describes something that is prohibited, not authorized, or against the law. It denotes an action, behavior, or entity that violates legal regulations or statutes.

Opposite of "Legal"

Illegal is the opposite of "legal" and represents actions or activities that are considered unlawful or illicit.

Legal Context

The term is primarily used within a legal context, referring to actions that are expressly forbidden by laws enacted by governing authorities.

Consequences

Engaging in illegal activities can lead to legal consequences, including fines, penalties, imprisonment, or other legal sanctions.

Subjectivity

The definition of illegal can vary depending on the jurisdiction or country, as laws and regulations differ across different legal systems.

Synonyms

Some synonyms include unlawful, illicit, prohibited, unauthorized, criminal, against the law, and forbidden.

Etymology

The word illegal originates from the Latin word illegālis, which combines "in-" (not) and "lex" (law), literally meaning "not according to law."

Moral Implications

It primarily pertains to legal violations, it's worth noting that legality doesn't always align with morality. Some actions may be illegal but still regarded as morally justifiable by certain individuals or groups.

Advocacy for Change

Certain actions or behaviors that were once considered illegal have been subject to advocacy efforts aiming to challenge or change existing laws or regulations, often to promote social justice or reform.

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