noun \ˈkrīm\

: an illegal act for which someone can be punished by the government

: activity that is against the law : illegal acts in general

: an act that is foolish or wrong

Full Definition of CRIME

:  an act or the commission of an act that is forbidden or the omission of a duty that is commanded by a public law and that makes the offender liable to punishment by that law; especially :  a gross violation of law
:  a grave offense especially against morality
:  criminal activity <efforts to fight crime>
:  something reprehensible, foolish, or disgraceful <it's a crime to waste good food>
crime·less \-ləs\ adjective

Examples of CRIME

  1. She paid dearly for her crimes.
  2. evidence that helped them solve the crime
  3. He was punished for a crime that he didn't commit.
  4. the recent increase in violent crime
  5. Being single is not a crime.
  6. There's no greater crime than forgetting your anniversary.

Origin of CRIME

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin crimen accusation, reproach, crime; probably akin to Latin cernere to sift, determine
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Legal Terms

actionable, alienable, carceral, chattel, complicity, decedent, larceny, malfeasance, modus operandi


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

the intentional commission of an act usually deemed socially harmful or dangerous and specifically defined, prohibited, and punishable under criminal law. Crimes in the common-law tradition were originally defined primarily by judicial decision. Most common-law crimes are now codified. According to a generally accepted principle, nullum crimen sine lege, there can be no crime without a law. A crime generally consists of both conduct (the actus reus) and a concurrent state of mind (the mens rea). Criminal acts include arson, assault and battery, bribery, burglary, child abuse, counterfeiting, embezzlement, extortion, forgery, fraud, hijacking, homicide, kidnapping, perjury, piracy, rape, sedition, smuggling, treason, theft, and usury. See also arrest; conspiracy; criminology; felony and misdemeanour; indictment; rights of the accused; self-incrimination; sentence; statute of limitations; war crime.


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