unlawful Definition

  • 1not allowed by law; illegal
  • 2not morally right or acceptable

Using unlawful: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "unlawful" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    It is unlawful to discriminate against people based on their race or gender.

  • Example

    The company was fined for unlawful business practices.

  • Example

    The court declared the search to be unlawful.

  • Example

    He was arrested for unlawful possession of a firearm.

unlawful Synonyms and Antonyms

Synonyms for unlawful

Antonyms for unlawful

Phrases with unlawful

  • a gathering of three or more people with the intent of committing a crime or engaging in violent behavior


    The police broke up the unlawful assembly before it turned violent.

  • unlawful detainer

    the act of retaining possession of property without legal right or by force


    The landlord filed an unlawful detainer lawsuit against the tenant for not paying rent.

  • a person who engages in armed conflict without meeting the criteria for lawful combatants under the laws of war


    The prisoners at Guantanamo Bay were classified as unlawful combatants and denied certain legal rights.


Summary: unlawful in Brief

'Unlawful' [ʌnˈlɔːfʊl] means something that is not allowed by law, either because it is illegal or morally unacceptable. It can refer to anything from discriminatory practices to possession of illegal items, as in 'He was arrested for unlawful possession of a firearm.' Other phrases include 'unlawful assembly,' referring to a gathering with criminal intent, and 'unlawful detainer,' meaning retaining possession of property without legal right.