crim·​i·​nal·​ism | \ ˈkrimənᵊlˌizəm, -mnəˌli- \
plural -s

Definition of criminalism

: the tendency to criminality also : habitual criminality

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of criminalism

1866, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for criminalism

probably from French criminalisme, from Late Latin criminalis criminal + French -isme -ism

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about criminalism

Time Traveler for criminalism

Time Traveler

The first known use of criminalism was in 1866

See more words from the same year

Statistics for criminalism

Cite this Entry

“Criminalism.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 18 January 2020.

Comments on criminalism

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


experienced by way of someone else

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Eponym Quiz

  • rubens painting
  • Which is the best synonym of bowdlerize?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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