burglary

play
noun bur·glary \ˈbər-glə-rē also -gə-lə-rē also -gəl-rē\

Definition of burglary

plural

burglaries

  1. :  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

burglarious

play \ˌbər-ˈgler-ē-əs\ adjective

burglariously

adverb

Examples of burglary in a Sentence

  1. There have been a number of burglaries in the neighborhood in recent months.

  2. He has been charged with attempted burglary.

Recent Examples of burglary from the Web

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.

First Known Use of burglary

circa 1523


BURGLARY Defined for English Language Learners

burglary

play
noun

Definition of burglary for English Language Learners

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


BURGLARY Defined for Kids

burglary

play
noun bur·glary \ˈbər-glə-rē\

Definition of burglary for Students

plural

burglaries

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


Law Dictionary

burglary

play
noun bur·glary \ˈbər-glə-rē\

Legal Definition of burglary

plural

burglaries

  1. :  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)



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