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

Police responded to a report of a burglary in progress and discovered the garage and basement doors at the address were unsecured. Washington Post, "Southern Maryland crime report," 28 June 2018 Other charges included burglary, tampering with evidence, and forgery for allegedly forging child custody documents. Kris Maher, WSJ, "Ohio Officials Charge Family in ‘Execution’ of Another Family," 13 Nov. 2018 Records in Texas show 47-year-old Ramon Escobar has had arrests for vehicle burglary, trespass, failure to stop, public intoxication and two assaults, most recently in November 2017. Fox News, "Police say they have weapons from deadly street attacks," 25 Sep. 2018 Jewelry crimes that make headlines and have movies dedicated to their retelling tend to fall into the cat-burglary, daring-heist, or old-fashioned-stickup varieties. Norman Vanamee, Town & Country, "How to Spot Fake Jewelry, According to the Experts," 17 Sep. 2018 His criminal history includes burglary, transporting drugs and other instances of possessing drugs for sale. Lyndsay Winkley, sandiegouniontribune.com, "San Diego's Wanted: Possessing drugs for sale," 12 July 2018 Many Manchester community Facebook posts in the past several weeks have been focused on a surge in car burglaries, theft of motor vehicles and vandalism to vehicles. Jesse Leavenworth, Courant Community, "Manchester Dem Chief Says GOP Official's Facebook Comment Racist; Calls For His Resignation," 9 July 2018 Shields and McCloskey are both facing charges including burglary, criminal trespass, public drunkenness and disorderly conduct, The Centre Daily Times reported. Natalie Dreier, ajc, "Bath salts land two in jail for shooting at ‘alien lasers’ that were really fireflies, police say," 5 July 2018 Many had blamed refugees for rising burglaries, which have in fact since fallen by a remarkable 30%. The Economist, "Confusion over immigration and crime is roiling European politics," 28 June 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

3 Jan 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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