arson

noun
ar·son | \ˈär-sᵊn \

Definition of arson 

: the willful or malicious burning of property (such as a building) especially with criminal or fraudulent intent Arson was determined to be the cause of the fire.

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Other Words from arson

arsonist \-ist \ noun
arsonous \-əs \ adjective

Examples of arson in a Sentence

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined, but investigators suspect arson. The town has suffered a rash of arson attacks. The town has suffered a rash of arsons.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Benitez was convicted of negligent homicide and arson, and sentenced to serve seven years in prison. Nathan J. Fish, azcentral, "Lessons from Phoenix firefighter's 2001 death influenced way crews handled Safeway fire," 12 July 2018 Even before President Donald Trump's Muslim ban (which the Supreme Court upheld, as The New York Times reported), hate crimes against Muslims, including mosque arson, were on the rise in 2015, according to FBI data. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "A Hijabi Woman Was Verbally Accosted on an MTA Bus," 12 July 2018 In January 2017, still bearing the wounds from the arson attack that would eventually kill her, Judy Malinowski spoke out about the day her boyfriend covered her in gasoline and set her aflame. Adam Carlson, PEOPLE.com, "Mom-of-2 Describes Horror of Boyfriend Lighting Her on Fire as He Pleads to Her Murder: 'Pure Evil'," 11 July 2018 Ricafrente was booked into the Solano County Jail on charges of arson, burglary, vandalism and hate crime against a church. Molly Sullivan, sacbee, "Woman faces hate crime charge for ripping bibles, setting fire at church," 14 June 2018 Eight-year-old Safyre is the victim of a 2013 arson attack that resulted in burns over 75% of her body. Christine Coppa, Country Living, "A Volunteer Has Been Accused of Stealing $1,300 From Orphaned Burn Victim Safyre Terry," 29 Feb. 2016 Long considered arson, the case remains unsolved; the prime suspect, who was never charged, committed suicide a year after the fire. New York Times, "A Fire Killed 32 at a New Orleans Gay Bar. This Artist Didn’t Forget.," 9 July 2018 Former Arsenal defender Emmanuel Eboue has been taken into custody at a London Police Station following claims of suspected arson, as well as malicious communication outside of a home in Enfield. SI.com, "Arson-al: Ex-Gunners Defender Arrested in London on Suspicion of Arson," 8 July 2018 Myanmar’s military has been accused of rape, arson, and arbitrary killing of Rohingya Muslims during a campaign launched last year after militant attacks on police posts. Timothy Mclaughlin, WIRED, "How Facebook’s Rise Fueled Chaos and Confusion in Myanmar," 6 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'arson.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of arson

circa 1680, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for arson

Anglo-French arsoun, from ars, past participle of arder, ardre to burn, from Latin ardēre — more at ardor

Anglo-French arsoun, alteration of Old French arsin, literally, conflagration, from ars, past participle of ardre to burn

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Dictionary Entries near arson

Ars Magna

ars nova

arsoite

arson

arsonate

arsonic acid

arsono

Statistics for arson

Last Updated

12 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for arson

The first known use of arson was circa 1680

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More Definitions for arson

arson

noun

English Language Learners Definition of arson

: the illegal burning of a building or other property : the crime of setting fire to something

arson

noun
ar·son | \ˈär-sᵊn \

Kids Definition of arson

: the illegal burning of a building or other property

arson

noun
ar·son | \ˈärs-ᵊn \

Legal Definition of arson 

: the act or crime of willfully, wrongfully, and unjustifiably setting property on fire often for the purpose of committing fraud (as on an insurance company)

Other Words from arson

arsonist \-ist \ noun

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Comments on arson

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