criminology

noun

crim·​i·​nol·​o·​gy ˌkri-mə-ˈnä-lə-jē How to pronounce criminology (audio)
: the scientific study of crime as a social phenomenon, of criminals, and of penal treatment
criminological adjective
criminologically adverb
criminologist noun

Did you know?

Criminology includes the study of all aspects of crime and law enforcement—criminal psychology, the social setting of crime, prohibition and prevention, investigation and detection, capture and punishment. Thus, many of the people involved—legislators, social workers, probation officers, judges, etc.—could possibly be considered criminologists, though the word usually refers only to scholars and researchers.

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Kohberger, a doctoral student in criminology at nearby Washington State University in Pullman, was arrested at his parents' home in Pennsylvania last week. Grace Hauck, USA TODAY, 12 Jan. 2023 Savona earned a Bachelor of Science degree in criminology from Eastern Michigan University and a Master of Science in administration from Central Michigan University. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, 12 Jan. 2023 At the time of his arrest, Kohberger was pursuing a doctorate in criminology at Washington State University, located in Pullman. CBS News, 9 Jan. 2023 At the time of the murders, Kohberger was a Ph.D student in criminology at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, about eight miles from the Moscow, Idaho, residence where the four University of Idaho students were slain. Jessica Sager, Peoplemag, 4 Jan. 2023 Kohberger was reportedly studying to get a Ph.D. in criminal justice and had already received a master's degree in criminology. Madeline Coggins, Fox News, 31 Dec. 2022 But these shootings represent a fraction of gun violence overall, said Jillian Peterson, an associate professor of criminology and criminal justice at Hamline University and co-founder of the Violence Project, which studies mass killers. Washington Post, 8 July 2022 Tucci's character Jefferson Grieff is a former criminology professor awaiting execution on death row, who begins investigating a woman's disappearance from behind bars in a bid to redeem himself before his death. Emma Dibdin, Town & Country, 12 Nov. 2022 Thoughtful and well-qualified, Heroux has a master’s degree in criminology from the University of Pennsylvania, another in international relations from the London School of Economics, and a third in public administration from Harvard. Globe Columnist, BostonGlobe.com, 22 Oct. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'criminology.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Latin crīmin-, crīmen "accusation, crime" + -o- + -logy

First Known Use

1872, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of criminology was in 1872

Dictionary Entries Near criminology

Cite this Entry

“Criminology.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/criminology. Accessed 1 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

criminology

noun
crim·​i·​nol·​o·​gy ˌkrim-ə-ˈnäl-ə-jē How to pronounce criminology (audio)
: a scientific study of crime, of criminals, and of their punishment or correction
criminological adjective
criminologist noun

Medical Definition

criminology

noun
crim·​i·​nol·​o·​gy ˌkrim-ə-ˈnäl-ə-jē How to pronounce criminology (audio)
plural criminologies
: the scientific study of crime as a social phenomenon, of criminals, and of penal treatment
criminological adjective
criminologically adverb
criminologist noun

Legal Definition

criminology

noun
crim·​i·​nol·​o·​gy ˌkri-mə-ˈnä-lə-jē How to pronounce criminology (audio)
: the scientific study of crime as a social phenomenon, of criminals, and of penal treatment
criminological adjective
criminologically adverb
criminologist noun

More from Merriam-Webster on criminology

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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


Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
Name That Thing

You know what it looks like… but what is it called?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?

PLAY