crime

noun
\ ˈkrīm How to pronounce crime (audio) \

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.

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from crime

crimeless \ ˈkrīm-​ləs How to pronounce crimeless (audio) \ 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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

That probe ended without a finding that Trump had committed a crime, but federal prosecutors and congressional committees are conducting a variety of separate investigations into the president and his businesses. Bart Jansen, USA TODAY, "Trump faces uphill battle to keep financial records from Congress after lawyers clash in appeals court," 12 July 2019 Mueller’s team wrote that it was bound by Justice Department policy that forbids the indictment of a sitting president from deciding or alleging - even privately - that Trump had committed a crime. Rachael Bade, BostonGlobe.com, "Mueller offers to delay testimony one week to give lawmakers more time for questions," 12 July 2019 Hester said the three decided McCraw would commit the crime for between $10,000 and $50,000. oregonlive.com, "Man accused in ex-wife’s Gresham death told cops his current wife was ‘guilty’ of killing her, records show," 11 July 2019 Howard Hughes, an eccentric billionaire, bought up Vegas properties, pushed out the free-spending mobsters (a national crackdown on organised crime helped) and instituted a new era of bean-counting. The Economist, "When the King saved Vegas," 11 July 2019 That segregation is connected with poverty and crime. jsonline.com, "Unequal violence, unequal justice: Homicide in one of America’s most segregated cities," 10 July 2019 Lloyd’s insured the World Trade Center prior to Sept. 11, 2001—and are on the hook for claims from California wild fires to cyber crime. Allison Schrager, Quartz, "In a world awash with information, power comes from knowing what data not to use," 10 July 2019 The character originally popped up in 1964’s The Amazing Spider-Man #13, first disguising himself as Spider-Man to rob banks and commit crimes before pretending to save the day as a new hero named Mysterio. Devan Coggan, EW.com, "Jake Gyllenhaal on Mysterio and how Spider-Man: Far From Home goes meta on superhero movies," 8 July 2019 Mark's career continued to take off with iconic turns in Chicago Hope, The West Wing, and everyone's favorite crime drama, NCIS, but Pam chose to leave Hollywood to stay home and raise their two sons. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Here's How Mark Harmon and His Wife Pam Dawber Make Their Marriage Work," 8 July 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about crime

Statistics for crime

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for crime

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce crime (audio) \

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 How to pronounce crime (audio) \

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

History and Etymology for crime

Middle French, from Latin crimen fault, accusation, crime

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on crime

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with crime

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for crime

Spanish Central: Translation of crime

Nglish: Translation of crime for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of crime for Arabic Speakers

Comments on crime

What made you want to look up crime? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!