Definition of burglary
: the act of breaking and entering a dwelling at night to commit a felony (as theft); broadly : the entering of a building with the intent to commit a crime
burglariousplay \ˌbər-ˈgler-ē-əs\ adjective
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.
First Known Use of burglary
BURGLARY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of burglary for English Language Learners
: the act of illegally entering a building in order to steal things
BURGLARY Defined for Kids
Definition of burglary for Students
: the act of breaking into a building especially at night with the intent to commit a crime (as theft)
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)
burglarious\ˌbər-ˈglar-ē-əs\ play adjective
Additional Notes on burglary
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.
Origin and Etymology of burglary
Anglo-French burglarie, modification of Medieval Latin burgaria, from burgare to break into (a house)
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up burglary? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).