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

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Synonyms for criminality


crime, lawbreaking, lawlessness

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Examples of criminality in a Sentence

criminality and physical violence often go hand in hand

Recent Examples on the Web

The Pentagon Papers is about the government lying to its people about an important thing, but there’s no real criminality. Nicholas Zimmerman, Daily Intelligencer, "Why Washington Insiders Decide to Leak," 16 May 2018 And that connotes and conjures up criminality and corruption. Fox News, "Sean Spicer: CNN's Jim Acosta owes Trump an apology," 2 Aug. 2018 Los Angeles has a new category of criminality: scooting under the influence. Frank Miles, Fox News, "LA's newest category of crime: 1st conviction for 'scooting' under the influence," 28 Sep. 2018 The partnerships are evolving as a way to share patterns of criminality without regulatory burdens. Mara Lemos Stein, WSJ, "Banks’ Sharing of Financial Crime Data Raises Questions on Ethics," 10 Sep. 2018 Both stars are enthusiastic farceurs, which almost but not quite gets you past the essential stupidity/criminality of the setup. Ty Burr,, "‘Overboard’ still doesn’t make splash," 3 May 2018 The city made clear of its stance on the zoot suit, which, to it, represented both the gall of Mexican youth and the threat of criminality. Mariana Gonzalez, Teen Vogue, "How the Zoot Suit Became a Symbol of Resistance for Mexican-American People," 21 Sep. 2018 It's affected the level of criminality in the city. Fox News, "Sessions defends zero tolerance immigration policy," 19 June 2018 Imagine a president willing and able to suborn criminality on his behalf. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Is Probing the Constitution for Weaknesses, and Finding Them," 1 June 2018

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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Statistics for criminality

Last Updated

2 May 2019

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Time Traveler for criminality

The first known use of criminality was in 1611

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on criminality

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with criminality

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for criminality

Britannica English: Translation of criminality for Arabic Speakers

Comments on criminality

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


a sum of money that is sent as a payment

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