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.

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The measures by Nordic and Baltic regulators comes as banks in the region face questions about safeguards for spotting financial crimes. Kristin Broughton, WSJ, "Nordic, Baltic Regulators Agree to Share Info on Money-Laundering Threats," 15 May 2019 The logic is circular: Crossing the border without documentation is designated as a federal crime put in place by lawmakers, preemptively criminalizing any immigrant residing in the U.S. without documentation. Natascha Uhlmann, Teen Vogue, "How Activists Can Fight Back Against Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)," 13 May 2019 It's being adapted by someone with a track record of success in the true crime genre. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "A TV Show About the College Admissions Scandal Is in the Works," 10 May 2019 There is that fundamental fascination about real crime. Maude Campbell, Popular Mechanics, "The Time of True Crime," 26 Apr. 2019 Now in its ninth season, the series stars Alex O'Loughlin and Scott Caan as their on-screen elite task force team works tirelessly to wipe out local crime. Blair Donovan, Country Living, "A Crazy 'Hawaii Five-0,' 'Magnum, P.I.,' and 'MacGyver' Crossover Might Happen," 26 Apr. 2019 The podcast will be an true crime anthology series and its first season will focus on the story of Gypsy Rose Blanchard. Alexis Jones, Marie Claire, "The Gypsy Rose Blanchard Story Doesn't End With 'The Act'—There's Now a Podcast," 25 Apr. 2019 Nassar’s crimes exposed a much deeper culture problem, one that prizes gold medals over the health and wellbeing of its athletes and is only now undergoing the hard and necessary work of remaking itself. Marie Claire, "Katelyn Ohashi Takes a Bow," 19 Apr. 2019 Parks and Rec alum Retta plays one of these badass ladies, her character Ruby joining a life of crime with her childhood best friends (Christina Hendricks and Mae Whitman) to pay for expensive treatments for her sick daughter. Kellee Terrell, Harper's BAZAAR, "Retta Wants Hollywood to Know She's Ready to Play the Femme Fatale," 11 Apr. 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.

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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

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Statistics for crime

Last Updated

21 May 2019

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 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

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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

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