burglary

noun
bur·​glary | \ ˈbər-glə-rē also -gə-lə-rē also -gəl-rē How to pronounce burglary (audio) \
plural burglaries

Definition of burglary

: the act of breaking and entering a dwelling at night to commit a felony (such as theft) broadly : the entering of a building with the intent to commit a crime

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Other Words from burglary

burglarious \ ˌbər-​ˈgler-​ē-​əs How to pronounce burglarious (audio) \ adjective
burglariously adverb

Examples of burglary in a Sentence

There have been a number of burglaries in the neighborhood in recent months. He has been charged with attempted burglary.

Recent Examples on the Web

All four subjects were charged with burglary of a motor vehicle. Houston Chronicle, "Bellaire Police Department weekly report," 1 July 2019 Courtney Taylor Irby was arrested and charged with armed burglary of a dwelling and grand theft of a firearm. Wendy Grossman Kantor, PEOPLE.com, "Fla. Woman Gave Allegedly Abusive Husband's Guns to Police, Gets Arrested for Theft," 27 June 2019 Upon turning the firearms into the Lakeland Police Department for safekeeping, she was arrested and charged with armed burglary of a dwelling and grand theft of a firearm, the Miami Herald reports. Alejandra Salazar, refinery29.com, "A Woman "In Fear For Her Life" Turned Her Husband's Guns In. Then She Was Arrested.," 25 June 2019 Two people have pleaded not guilty in connection with burglaries of homes being shown during open houses ranging from Huntington Beach to San Francisco, authorities said. Julia Sclafani, latimes.com, "2 plead not guilty in open-house burglaries after arrests in H.B.; third person is charged," 24 June 2019 No one has been charged in the burglary of the ATF guns, according to Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Karen Loebel. Raquel Rutledge, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "ATF's Milwaukee sting operation was marred by mistakes, failures," 11 June 2019 Panek is scheduled to be sentenced in the burglary of Bergeson’s home in January, according to court records. oregonlive.com, "Man accused of murder in 2009 killing of federal public defender Nancy Bergeson attends settlement conference," 22 Jan. 2019 In a pending case against Clements in the Phoenix metropolitan area, he is accused of participating in a ruse that led to the burglary of a home owned by a couple in their 80s. Jacques Billeaud, The Seattle Times, "Sex offender faces court in case of 2 Arizona girls killed," 24 Sep. 2018 At the time of the shooting, Askins had two active warrants out of El Paso County, Colorado -- one for 2nd degree burglary of a building and the other for Failure to Appear, according to the sheriff's office. Travis Fedschun, Fox News, "Man pulls gun on Colorado deputies during traffic stop, dramatic body camera video shows," 18 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'burglary.' 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 burglary

circa 1523, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for burglary

Last Updated

4 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for burglary

The first known use of burglary was circa 1523

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More Definitions for burglary

burglary

noun

English Language Learners Definition of burglary

: the act of illegally entering a building in order to steal things

burglary

noun
bur·​glary | \ ˈbər-glə-rē How to pronounce burglary (audio) \
plural burglaries

Kids Definition of burglary

: the act of breaking into a building especially at night with the intent to commit a crime (as theft)

burglary

noun
bur·​glary | \ ˈbər-glə-rē How to pronounce burglary (audio) \
plural burglaries

Legal Definition of burglary

: the act of breaking and entering an inhabited structure (as a house) especially at night with intent to commit a felony (as murder or larceny) also : the act of entering or remaining unlawfully (as after closing to the public) in a building with intent to commit a crime (as a felony)

Note: The crime of burglary was originally defined under the common law to protect people, since there were other laws (as those defining larceny and trespass) that protected property. State laws have broadened the common-law crime. Entering at night is often no longer required and may be considered an aggravating factor. The building may be something other than a dwelling, such as a store or pharmacy. Some states (as Louisiana) have included vehicles under their burglary statute. There are degrees of burglary, and some of the usual aggravating factors are the presence of people and use of a deadly weapon.

Other Words from burglary

burglarious \ ˌbər-​ˈglar-​ē-​əs How to pronounce burglarious (audio) \ adjective

History and Etymology for burglary

Anglo-French burglarie, modification of Medieval Latin burgaria, from burgare to break into (a house)

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Comments on burglary

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