Simple Definition of larceny
law : the act of stealing something
Full Definition of larceny
: the unlawful taking of personal property with intent to deprive the rightful owner of it permanently
Examples of larceny
He was arrested and charged with larceny.
He has been accused of several larcenies.
Origin of larceny
Middle English, from Anglo-French larecin theft, from Latin latrocinium robbery, from latron-, latro mercenary soldier, probably from Greek *latrōn, from latron pay
First Known Use: 15th century
LARCENY Defined for Kids
History for larceny
In Latin, the language of ancient Rome, the word latro referred to a soldier who fought for pay rather than from a sense of duty. Because such soldiers had a poor reputation, the meaning of the word came to be “robber” or “bandit,” and the word derived from it, latrocinium, meant “act of robbery.” Latrocinium became larecin, “theft,” in medieval French, and this word was borrowed into English as larceny.
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