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

Synonym Discussion of CRIME

offense, resentment, umbrage, pique, dudgeon, huff mean an emotional response to or an emotional state resulting from a slight or indignity. offense implies hurt displeasure <takes deep offense at racial slurs>. resentment suggests lasting indignation or ill will <harbored a lifelong resentment of his brother>. umbrage may suggest hurt pride, resentment, or suspicion of another's motives <took umbrage at the offer of advice>. pique applies to a transient feeling of wounded vanity <in a pique I foolishly declined the invitation>. dudgeon suggests an angry fit of indignation <stormed out of the meeting in high dudgeon>. huff implies a peevish short-lived spell of anger usually at a petty cause <in a huff he slammed the door>.

offense, sin, vice, crime, scandal mean a transgression of law. offense applies to the infraction of any law, rule, or code <at that school no offense went unpunished>. sin implies an offense against moral or religious law <the sin of blasphemy>. vice applies to a habit or practice that degrades or corrupts <regarded gambling as a vice>. crime implies a serious offense punishable by the law of the state <the crime of murder>. scandal applies to an offense that outrages the public conscience <a career ruined by a sex scandal>.

Other Legal Terms

actionable, alienable, carceral, chattel, complicity, decedent, larceny, malfeasance, modus operandi
CRIME Defined for Kids


noun \ˈkrīm\

Definition of CRIME for Kids

:  the act of doing something forbidden by law or the failure to do an act required by law
:  an act that is foolish or wrong <It's a crime to waste food.>
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