un·​law | \ "+ \

Definition of unlaw

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a violation of law : disregard of the restraints of law : illegality, lawlessness times of unlaw alternate with times of law— Frederick Pollock & F. W. Maitland
2 Scots law : a fine or amercement for a violation of law
\ " \

Definition of unlaw (Entry 2 of 2)

1 Scots law : to impose a fine upon
2 [un- entry 2 + law, noun] obsolete : to deprive of the character of a law : annul

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

History and Etymology for unlaw


Middle English unlawe, from Old English unlagu, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse ōlög, ūlög illegality, lawlessness, from ō-, ū- un- + lög law

Transitive verb

Middle English (Scots) unlawen, from unlawe, noun

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about unlaw

Statistics for unlaw

Cite this Entry

“Unlaw.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unlaw. Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

Comments on unlaw

What made you want to look up unlaw? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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