1

criminal

adjective crim·i·nal \ ˈkri-mə-nᵊl , ˈkrim-nəl \
Updated on: 8 Dec 2017

Definition of criminal

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

criminally

adverb

Examples of criminal in a Sentence

  1. a history of criminal behavior

  2. The captain of the wrecked boat was accused of criminal negligence.

  3. The company brought criminal charges against her.

  4. It's criminal that the government is doing nothing to stop the problem.

Recent Examples of criminal from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of criminal

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


2

criminal

noun

Definition of criminal

1 : one who has committed a crime
2 : a person who has been convicted of a crime

Examples of criminal in a Sentence

  1. car thieves, pickpockets, burglars, and other criminals

Recent Examples of criminal from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of criminal

derivative of 1criminal



CRIMINAL Defined for English Language Learners

criminal

adjective

Definition of criminal for English Language Learners

  • : 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

Definition of criminal for English Language Learners

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


CRIMINAL Defined for Kids

1

criminal

adjective crim·i·nal \ ˈkri-mə-nᵊl \

Definition of criminal for Students

1 : being or guilty of an act that is unlawful, foolish, or wrong
2 : relating to unlawful acts or their punishment
  • criminal law

criminally

\-nᵊl-ē\ adverb

2

criminal

noun

Definition of criminal for Students

: a person who has committed an unlawful act

Law Dictionary

1

criminal

adjective crim·i·nal \ ˈkri-mə-nəl \

legal Definition of criminal

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 4, penal

2

criminal

noun

legal Definition of criminal

1 : one who has committed a crime
2 : a person who has been convicted of a crime


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