crim·​i·​nal·​i·​ty | \ ˌkri-mə-ˈna-lə-tē How to pronounce criminality (audio) \

Definition of criminality

1 : the quality or state of being criminal
2 : criminal activity urban criminality

Synonyms for criminality


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Examples of criminality in a Sentence

criminality and physical violence often go hand in hand
Recent Examples on the Web Police unions and crime victims’ advocates have blasted the new policies, accusing Bragg of adopting policies that will only encourage criminality. Fox News Staff, Fox News, 7 Jan. 2022 On one level, the leaks have the usual assortment of wealthy people engaged in sordid schemes to hide their money from the tax man or public scrutiny, or conceal outright criminality. Ryan Cooper, The Week, 4 Oct. 2021 In recent weeks, the committee has publicly signaled its interest in the question of criminality. New York Times, 20 Dec. 2021 At times, that process leads to witnesses disclosing potential criminality about themselves or others. New York Times, 20 Dec. 2021 Picking through the secret files on his floor, Tom found many incidents of shocking criminality from executives, including one who demanded dancers give him blowjobs in exchange for a contract extension. Scott Tobias, Vulture, 20 Dec. 2021 Theoplis McClain of Milwaukee was charged in Milwaukee County Circuit Court with three counts of felony bail jumping, with domestic abuse assessments as a domestic abuse repeater and habitual criminality repeater, South Milwaukee Police said. Erik S. Hanley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2 Dec. 2021 To be sure, this practice has its limits, and pervasive and obvious criminality by a President should be prosecuted regardless of this tradition. Jeffrey Toobin, CNN, 16 Aug. 2021 The failure of other nations to enforce their laws — or the lower criminality of faraway societies — does not compel our government to neglect its duty to administer justice and ensure public safety. Tom Cotton, National Review, 11 Aug. 2021

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

1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for criminality

criminal entry 1 + -ity, perhaps after French criminalité

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Time Traveler for criminality

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The first known use of criminality was in 1611

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Dictionary Entries Near criminality




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Statistics for criminality

Last Updated

14 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Criminality.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for criminality


crim·​i·​nal·​i·​ty | \ ˌkri-mə-ˈna-lə-tē How to pronounce criminality (audio) \

Legal Definition of criminality

1 : the quality or state of being criminal can't understand the criminality of his act
2 : crime sense 3 violent criminality

More from Merriam-Webster on criminality

Britannica English: Translation of criminality for Arabic Speakers


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