from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Not permitted or governed by law.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. occurring outside the law; not governed by law; lawless

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Being beyond or outside of the domain of law: sometimes used in the sense of illegal.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. not regulated or sanctioned by law


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • There's a slight difference between illegal and extralegal, in my opinion. Extralegal usually implies something done outside the boundaries of the law, but somehow justified by common sense on account of said law being ill-conceived, partisan, bigoted, invidious or just plain absurd. For example someone shouting "Kim Jong-Il SUCKED!" in North Korea is doing something extralegal in Western eyes and illegal in North Korean eyes.

    March 20, 2012