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Illegal vs Unlawful
Difference, Examples & Quiz

What's the difference? Which one is correct?


Definition: Illegal refers to something that is prohibited or not allowed by law.

Usage: Illegal is used to describe actions, behaviors, or activities that are against the law.

Example sentences:
  • 1. Driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal in most countries.
  • 2. Selling counterfeit goods is considered illegal.
  • 3. Trespassing on private property without permission is illegal.

Definition: Unlawful means not conforming to or authorized by law.

Usage: Unlawful is used to describe actions, behaviors, or activities that are not in accordance with the law.

Example sentences:
  • 1. Taking someone else's property without permission is considered unlawful.
  • 2. Engaging in fraudulent activities is unlawful.
  • 3. Violating a court order is considered unlawful behavior.

Illegal and Unlawful are often used interchangeably, but they have distinct legal meanings. Illegal refers to something that is against the law or prohibited by law. Unlawful, on the other hand, refers to something that is not authorized by law or is contrary to justice and morality. While both words convey the idea of something being prohibited, illegal specifically refers to a violation of a specific law, while unlawful has a broader connotation of being unjust or morally wrong.

Quizzes about "Illegal" vs "Unlawful"

Illegal vs Unlawful: 5 Quizzes

1. What is the opposite of legal?

2. What is another word for unlawful?

3. Which term describes actions that are against the law?

4. What is the antonym of lawful?

5. Which term refers to actions that are not permitted?


  • What does 'Illegal' mean?

    Illegal refers to an action or behavior that is prohibited by law.

  • What are some examples of illegal activities?

    Examples of illegal activities include theft, fraud, and drug trafficking.

  • What are the consequences of engaging in illegal activities?

    Engaging in illegal activities can result in fines, imprisonment, or other legal penalties.

  • What is the difference between illegal and unlawful?

    Illegal and unlawful are often used interchangeably, but illegal generally refers to actions prohibited by law, while unlawful refers to actions that violate a specific legal code or statute.

  • How can one avoid engaging in illegal activities?

    To avoid engaging in illegal activities, it is important to be aware of and comply with the laws and regulations of your jurisdiction.