criminal

adjective
crim·i·nal | \ ˈkri-mə-nᵊl , ˈkrim-nəl \

Definition of criminal 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : relating to, involving, or being a crime criminal neglect a criminal organization

2 : relating to crime or to the prosecution of suspects in a crime criminal statistics brought criminal action the criminal justice system

3 : guilty of crime also : of or befitting a criminal a criminal mind

4 : disgraceful It's criminal how unfunny this comedy is. —Rick Bentley

criminal

noun

Definition of criminal (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : one who has committed a crime

2 : a person who has been convicted of a crime

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Other words from criminal

Adjective

criminally adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for criminal

Synonyms: Adjective

felonious, illegal, illegitimate, illicit, lawless, unlawful, wrongful

Synonyms: Noun

crook, culprit, lawbreaker, malefactor, miscreant, offender

Antonyms: Adjective

lawful, legal, legitimate

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Examples of criminal in a Sentence

Adjective

a history of criminal behavior The captain of the wrecked boat was accused of criminal negligence. The company brought criminal charges against her. It's criminal that the government is doing nothing to stop the problem.

Noun

car thieves, pickpockets, burglars, and other criminals
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Those circumstances include if agents can't verify the relationship between the adult and minor, or if the parent is deemed to be a risk for the minor or has a criminal history. Rafael Carranza, azcentral, "Rights group claims family separations continue at border, despite Trump's executive order," 13 July 2018 Eleven adults have serious criminal histories, including charges or convictions for child cruelty, kidnapping, murder, human smuggling and domestic violence, according to HHS. Brittny Mejia, latimes.com, "Trump administration reunites just over half of migrant children under 5 with parents, says others are 'ineligible'," 12 July 2018 Dean Reynolds is 51 years of age, maintains custody of his 15-year-old son and has no previous criminal history. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, "Feds: No proof behind Macomb official's cancer story; keep him jailed," 12 July 2018 Court records show his criminal history dates to 2006 and includes charges for disorderly conduct, resisting officers and trespassing. Jason Silverstein, CBS News, "Homeless artist with no arms allegedly stabbed tourist," 11 July 2018 Some of the families have complicating factors, ranging from communicable disease to criminal histories to other risks of endangering their children. Lucas Laursen, Fortune, "ICE Admits It Lost Track of a Family It Separated That Might Be American," 11 July 2018 Jefferson Circuit Court Judge McKay Chauvin said that judges weigh many factors when determining bail, including past criminal history, current charges and financial ability to pay cash bail. Matthew Glowicki, The Courier-Journal, "Criminal justice leaders talk home incarceration concerns, benefits," 11 July 2018 Taneyhill, who has a criminal history in Sacramento dating back to 2002, was staying at a Volunteers of America shelter earlier this year when a case manager for the county program, Bobby Uppal, approached him. Cynthia Hubert, sacbee, "This man cost Sacramento County more in one year than any other homeless person," 8 July 2018 The man charged with murder in Ruya's death and aggravated battery of eight others is Timmy Earl Kinner Jr., a 30-year-old homeless felon with a criminal history in other states. Katy Moeller, idahostatesman, "A week after stabbings, his city gives Boise's police chief hope 'to create good out of horror'," 7 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The blame for election interference belongs to the criminals who committed election interference. Philip Rucker, chicagotribune.com, "After being told of Russia indictments, Trump still aspired to be friends with Putin," 13 July 2018 In other business news: A vulnerability in Google Home and Chromcast device, could give criminals access to information about you. Alex Soderstrom, ajc, "Macy’s says hackers accessed customer credit card information," 12 July 2018 Take a look at some would-be criminals who could have used a practice run or two. Joe Marusak, charlotteobserver, "Burglar got stuck in Golden Corral exhaust vent. Then cooks fired up the grill, NC cops say," 11 July 2018 Take a look at some would-be criminals who could have used a practice run or two. Don Sweeney, sacbee, "She had a stolen car with mismatched license plates — and a dead owl, Calif. cops say," 8 July 2018 So why do companies (and criminals) still cling to such an obnoxious method? Kim Komando, Fox News, "Stop robocalls, free TV, anonymous browsing and more: Tech Q&A," 7 July 2018 Streaming: Get a glimpse inside some of the most famous penitentiaries in the world and see what life's really like for the notorious criminals inhabiting them. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "On TV This Week: All the Top Shows and Movies You Need to Catch," 7 July 2018 New technology has allowed criminals to install the devices inside gas pumps and retrieve information remotely on their cellphones, said Aaron Keller, with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Tonya Alanez, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Skimmer alert! Holiday travelers advised to pay cash for gas," 4 July 2018 Credit card skimmers are small, electronic devices that criminals can install inside the card reader at a gas pump and are undetectable to consumers. Brittany Shoot, Fortune, "Beware Credit Card Skimmers at Gas Stations This July Fourth, Secret Service Warns," 3 July 2018

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

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1610, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for criminal

Adjective

Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French criminal, borrowed from Latin crīminālis, from crīmin-, crīmen "indictment, crime" + -ālis -al entry 1

Noun

derivative of criminal entry 1

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Phrases Related to criminal

career criminal

criminal mind

criminal record

Statistics for criminal

Last Updated

1 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for criminal

The first known use of criminal was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for criminal

criminal

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of criminal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: involving illegal activity : relating to crime

: relating to laws that describe crimes rather than to laws about a person's rights

: morally wrong

criminal

noun

English Language Learners Definition of criminal (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person who has committed a crime or who has been proved to be guilty of a crime by a court

criminal

adjective
crim·i·nal | \ ˈkri-mə-nᵊl \

Kids Definition of criminal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : being or guilty of an act that is unlawful, foolish, or wrong

2 : relating to unlawful acts or their punishment criminal law

Other words from criminal

criminally \-nᵊl-ē \ adverb

criminal

noun

Kids Definition of criminal (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person who has committed an unlawful act

criminal

adjective
crim·i·nal | \ ˈkri-mə-nəl \

Legal Definition of criminal 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : relating to, involving, or being a crime criminal neglect criminal conduct

2 : relating to crime or its prosecution brought a criminal action criminal code — compare civil sense 4, penal

criminal

noun

Legal Definition of criminal (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : one who has committed a crime

2 : a person who has been convicted of a crime

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Comments on criminal

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