Unlawful vs Criminal - What's the difference?

unlawful | criminal |


As adjectives the difference between unlawful and criminal

is that unlawful is prohibited]]; not permitted by law (either [[civil law|civil or criminal law; see illegal) while criminal is being against the law; forbidden by law.

As a noun criminal is

a person who is guilty of a crime, notably breaking the law.

unlawful

English

Adjective

(en adjective)
  • Prohibited]]; not permitted by law (either [[civil law, civil or criminal law; see illegal).
  • He was charged with unlawful use of a car.

    criminal

    English

    Adjective

    (en adjective)
  • Being against the law; forbidden by law.
  • * Addison
  • Foppish and fantastic ornaments are only indications of vice, not criminal in themselves.
  • Guilty of breaking the law.
  • * Rogers
  • The neglect of any of the relative duties renders us criminal in the sight of God.
  • Of or relating to crime or penal law.
  • * Hallam
  • The officers and servants of the crown, violating the personal liberty, or other right of the subject were in some cases liable to criminal process.
    His long criminal record suggests that he is a dangerous man.
  • (figuratively) Abhorrent or very undesirable, even if allowed by law.
  • ''Printing such asinine opinions without rebuttal is criminal , even when not libel!

    Usage notes

    * Nouns to which "criminal" is often applied: law, justice, court, procedure, prosecution, intent, case, record, act, action, behavior, code, offence, liability, investigation, conduct, defense, trial, history, responsibility, lawyer, tribunal, appeal, process, background, mind, conspiracy, evidence, gang, organization, underworld, jurisprudence, offender, jury, police, past, group, punishment, attorney, violence, report, career, psychology.

    Synonyms

    * illegal

    Derived terms

    * criminal conversation * criminalisation * criminalist * criminalistics * criminality * criminalize * criminal law * criminal-law * criminally * criminal negligence * criminalness * criminal-offence * criminal offence * criminal procedure * criminal record

    Noun

    (en noun)
  • A person who is guilty of a crime, notably breaking the law.
  • * {{quote-book, year=1963, author=(Margery Allingham)
  • , title=(The China Governess) , chapter=3 citation , passage=‘[…] There's every Staffordshire crime-piece ever made in this cabinet, and that's unique. The Van Hoyer Museum in New York hasn't that very rare second version of Maria Marten's Red Barn over there, nor the little Frederick George Manning—he was the criminal Dickens saw hanged on the roof of the gaol in Horsemonger Lane, by the way—’}}

    Synonyms

    * lawbreaker * offender * perpetrator * See also