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

Her portrayal of Harry Peak, the prime suspect in the arson investigation, channels Joan Didion, adding a dash of John Steinbeck for good measure. Jane Kamensky, WSJ, "‘The Library Book’ Review: The People’s Palace," 11 Oct. 2018 Down Her Favorite Instagram Follows Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras also said arson is a suspected cause, as The New York Times reported on Friday. Kaylen Ralph, Teen Vogue, "22 Wildfires in Greece Have Killed 91 People and Injured 200 More," 30 July 2018 The measures were intended to press Hamas to crack down on the arson. New York Times, "Unable to Stop Flaming Kites, Israel Moves to Choke Off Gaza Commerce," 9 July 2018 Police are also investigating a Nov. 8 arson that caused $250,000 in damage to Seattle Elks Lodge 92, at 3014 Third Ave. Sara Jean Green, The Seattle Times, "Fire at Gascoigne Lumber on North Queen Anne was arson, Seattle fire officials say," 13 Nov. 2018 Flammable accelerant in turn indicates a human element or intention, arson. Maude Campbell, Popular Mechanics, "The 1991 Firestorm That Changed Everything We Thought We Knew About Arson," 8 Nov. 2018 China has experienced violent attacks in public places in recent years, including bombings and arson of buses and buildings. Fox News, "Death toll at 11 in China vehicle attack, 44 in hospital," 13 Sep. 2018 Alberto Hinojosa Medina, 25, was convicted in May in the 2015 stabbing death of Andrea DelVesco, 21, a Texas native, along with arson, burglary and cruelty to an animal, the Los Angeles Times reported. Fox News, "Killer who stabbed UCLA student 19 times gets life sentence without parole," 22 Sep. 2018 At times educators faced intimidation, arson, even murder. Michael S. Roth, WSJ, "‘The Lost Education of Horace Tate’ Review: Civil Rights for Schoolchildren," 21 Aug. 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

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Dictionary Entries near arson

Ars Magna

ars nova

arsoite

arson

arsonate

arsonic acid

arsono

Statistics for arson

Last Updated

19 Jan 2019

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

History and Etymology for arson

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on arson

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with arson

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for arson

Spanish Central: Translation of arson

Nglish: Translation of arson for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of arson for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about arson

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