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.
crimelessplay \ˈkrīm-ləs\ adjective
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.
Recent Examples of crime from the Web
A recent rise in knife crime may be partly to blame.
Outside of the emergency room, the good Samaritan spoke with police, who took crime scene photos of her bloodstained back seat.
Elsewhere, on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, tribal authorities are wrestling with whether to partner with local police to solve a string of violent crimes on their sovereign land.
According to court records made public Wednesday, deputies dispatched to the crime scene arrived to find a decomposing body lying face down on the side of the road.
The U-T created crime categories based upon original charges reported.
True-Crime Tours As the husband-and- wife team behind Esotouric, Kim Cooper and Richard Schave have built an empire on exposing L.A.’s grim underbelly with twisted joie de vivre and nerdy zeal.
In the film, keeping his Spider-Man identity from his friends proves to be too much of a challenge for Peter when his friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) catches him sneaking back into his room after an evening fighting crime.
His arrest earlier this month concluded an 11-month investigation by the Illinois Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, prosecutors said.
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.
Origin and Etymology of 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 1certain
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
Synonym Discussion of crime
CRIME Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of crime for English Language Learners
: 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 Defined for Kids
Definition of crime for Students
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.
Legal Definition of crime
2 : an offense against public law usually excluding a petty violation — see also felony, misdemeanor Editor's 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
Origin and Etymology of crime
Middle French, from Latin crimen fault, accusation, crime
Seen and Heard
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