crime

noun
\ˈkrīm \

Definition of crime 

1 : an illegal act for which someone can be punished by the government especially : a gross violation of law

2 : a grave offense especially against morality

3 : criminal activity efforts to fight crime

4 : something reprehensible, foolish, or disgraceful It's a crime to waste good food.

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Other Words from crime

crimeless \ˈkrīm-ləs \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for crime

offense, sin, vice, crime, scandal mean a transgression of law. offense applies to the infraction of any law, rule, or code. at that school no offense went unpunished sin implies an offense against moral or religious law. the sin of blasphemy vice applies to a habit or practice that degrades or corrupts. regarded gambling as a vice crime implies a serious offense punishable by the law of the state. the crime of murder scandal applies to an offense that outrages the public conscience. a career ruined by a sex scandal

Examples of crime in a Sentence

She paid dearly for her crimes. evidence that helped them solve the crime He was punished for a crime that he didn't commit. the recent increase in violent crime Being single is not a crime. There's no greater crime than forgetting your anniversary.
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Recent Examples on the Web

In 1798, Congress passed the Sedition Act, making it a federal crime to publish false, scandalous or malicious writing about the United States government. BostonGlobe.com, "This day in history," 14 July 2018 The following is a sampling of the most recent crime records made available by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. Austen Erblat, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Wellington, Royal Palm Beach area crime log: June 15-30," 13 July 2018 Tyler Curtiss of Brookeville, Matthew Lipp of Woodbine, Joshua Shaffer of Mount Airy and Seth Taylor of Glenwood — all 18 — each face identical seven-count indictments, including three hate-crime charges. Jess Nocera, Howard County Times, "Grand jury indicts teens accused of hate crimes at Glenelg High School," 13 July 2018 Their idyll is interrupted when a feral and mysterious 14-year-old girl shoots their cattle dead, sending Wyatt Smith into Utah's hyper-violent crime underworld to find her. refinery29.com, "How Rae DelBianco Went From Cattle Farmer To Bookstagram Queen To Literary Darling — All By 25," 13 July 2018 The second season of the true-crime parody, whose first season was inspired by The Staircase, stars Kristin Chenoweth as murder suspect Lavinia Peck-Foster. Ellen Gray, Philly.com, "TV picks: SharkFest, Sacha Baron Cohen, 'Suits' and more," 13 July 2018 Just to remind you, Mayor Rahm infamously closed mental health clinics in low-income, high-crime areas as part of his infamous budget, unanimously approved by the City Council in 2011. Ben Joravsky, Chicago Reader, "News / Politics / Poverty / Race Father Pfleger, top cop Johnson, and a tinge of hope for the city’s future," 13 July 2018 His biography becomes a second core to Sacred Games, competing with the crime mystery itself. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Sacred Games Reinvents the Police Procedural," 12 July 2018 Manafort has not been charged with crimes related to his work for Trump’s campaign, nor have prosecutors accused him of conspiring with Russians to influence the election. Chris Megerian, Anchorage Daily News, "For Paul Manafort, an uncommonly comfortable life behind bars," 12 July 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for crime

Middle English, "wrongdoing, sin," borrowed from Anglo-French, going back to Latin crīmin-, crīmen "accusation, charge, indictment, source of an accusation, misdeed, offense," probably from crī-, variant stem of cernere "to sift, discern, decide, determine" + -men, resultative noun suffix (probably originally "decision," then "judicial decision, indictment") — more at certain entry 1

Middle French, from Latin crimen fault, accusation, crime

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Statistics for crime

Last Updated

8 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for crime

The first known use of crime was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for crime

crime

noun

English Language Learners Definition of crime

: an illegal act for which someone can be punished by the government

: activity that is against the law : illegal acts in general

: an act that is foolish or wrong

crime

noun
\ˈkrīm \

Kids Definition of crime

1 : the act of doing something forbidden by law or the failure to do an act required by law

2 : an act that is foolish or wrong It's a crime to waste food.

crime

noun
\ˈkrīm \

Legal Definition of crime 

1 : conduct that is prohibited and has a specific punishment (as incarceration or fine) prescribed by public law — compare delict, tort

2 : an offense against public law usually excluding a petty violation — see also felony, misdemeanor

Note: Crimes in the common-law tradition were originally defined primarily by judicial decision. For the most part, common-law crimes are now codified. There is a general principle “nullum crimen sine lege,” that there can be no crime without a law. A crime generally consists of both conduct, known as the actus reus, and a concurrent state of mind, known as the mens rea.

3 : criminal activity

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Comments on crime

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