burglary

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

On July 24, 1979, he was convicted of the Bowman and Levy murders, three counts of attempted first degree murder, and two counts of burglary. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "Ted Bundy: Looking Back at the Killing Spree That Landed Him on Death Row," 25 Jan. 2019 The notorious Golden State Killer was wanted in at least 12 murders, nearly 50 rapes and 120 home burglaries from the late 1970s to the mid-1980s. Kathleen Joyce, Fox News, "Molly Ringwald recalls living in fear during her childhood while Golden State Killer lurked nearby," 10 May 2018 Lawrence McKinney, 61, was given $1 million in compensation Wednesday after DNA evidence cleared him of a wrongful 1978 conviction of rape and burglary. Terrell Jermaine Starr, The Root, "Innocent Man Awarded $1 Million After Spending 31 Years In Prison for Crime He Didn't Commit," 24 Mar. 2018 Gary was convicted in 1986 on three counts each of malice murder, rape and burglary for the 1977 deaths of 89-year-old Florence Scheible, 69-year-old Martha Thurmond and 74-year-old Kathleen Woodruff. CBS News, "Georgia executes "stocking strangler," convicted of raping and killing older women," 15 Mar. 2018 He was convicted in 1986 on three counts each of malice murder, rape and burglary for the 1977 deaths of 89-year-old Florence Scheible, 69-year-old Martha Thurmond and 74-year-old Kathleen Woodruff. Kate Brumback, USA TODAY, "'Stocking strangler' case: Inmate should not be executed, lawyer says," 14 Mar. 2018 Billy Tinker, 25, is charged with rape, aggravated burglary, felonious assault and kidnapping in the Thursday incident on West 56th Street in the city's Stockyards neighborhood, according to court records. Adam Ferrise, cleveland.com, "Man charged in Cleveland rape broke into woman's home, hid in bathroom, police say," 19 Feb. 2018 The burglary was reported less than a week before Nebraska begins preseason practice. Eric Olson, The Seattle Times, "Some items found after theft from Nebraska coach’s home," 30 July 2018 Police discovered video surveillance on July 7 of the suspect, Noel Christian Schole, walking around outside and then inside La Porte First Baptist Church after the burglary was reported, according to the release. Victoria Cheyne, Houston Chronicle, "Shore Acres man accused of stealing guitars from La Porte church," 11 July 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

14 Feb 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 \
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 \
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 \ 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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