ill-gotten

adjective

ill-got·​ten ˈil-ˈgä-tᵊn How to pronounce ill-gotten (audio)
: acquired by illicit or improper means
ill-gotten gains

Word History

First Known Use

1552, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ill-gotten was in 1552

Dictionary Entries Near ill-gotten

Cite this Entry

“Ill-gotten.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ill-gotten. Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

ill-gotten

adjective

ill-got·​ten
-ˈgät-ᵊn
: to get by unlawful or improper means
ill-gotten wealth
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
Spell It

Hear a word and type it out. How many can you get right?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ