crime against humanity

noun phrase

: atrocity (such as extermination or enslavement) that is directed especially against an entire population or part of a population on specious grounds and without regard to individual guilt or responsibility even on such grounds

Word History

First Known Use

1878, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of crime against humanity was in 1878

Dictionary Entries Near crime against humanity

Cite this Entry

“Crime against humanity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jun. 2023.

Legal Definition

crime against humanity

crime against hu·​man·​i·​ty
: an inhumane act (as enslavement) committed against civilians before or during a war for which criminal liability is imposed by a domestic or international tribunal see also war crime

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