from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Not permitted by law.
  • adjective Outside of the scope of law.

from The Century Dictionary.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective occurring outside the law; not governed by law; lawless

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

  • adjective not regulated or sanctioned by law


Sorry, no etymologies found.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • 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