fel·​on | \ˈfe-lən \

Definition of felon 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : one who has committed a felony

2 archaic : villain

3 : a painful abscess of the deep tissues of the palmar surface of the fingertip that is typically caused by bacterial infection (as with a staphylococcus) and is marked by swelling and pain — compare whitlow sense 1



Definition of felon (Entry 2 of 2)

1 archaic

a : cruel

b : evil

2 archaic : wild

Examples of felon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But in Florida, felons often lose those rights for the rest of their lives unless the governor and Cabinet vote to restore them. Scott Maxwell, OrlandoSentinel.com, "In Florida, getting back civil rights means groveling to politicians," 11 July 2018 Not even the hardest core NRA types are happy about felons packing heat. Jack Greiner, Cincinnati.com, "Concealed carry: Why keeping Ohio's concealed carry permit records secret could be dangerous," 11 July 2018 Jimenez, 53, is also a career felon, according to court records. Bruce Selcraig, San Antonio Express-News, "Witness recounts stabbing death at S.A. murder trial," 11 July 2018 Earlier Monday, police had identified the suspect as 35-year-old Gary Wayne Lindsey Jr., a felon currently on probation for arson and other charges. Martin E. Comas, Anchorage Daily News, "4 children, gunman found dead 24 hours after Orlando standoff began," 12 June 2018 Tonya Couch will go to trial in May over charges of obstructing the apprehension of a felon as well as money laundering, according to The Fort Worth Star Telegram. Linley Sanders, Teen Vogue, ""Affluenza Teen" Ethan Couch Has Been Released From Prison," 2 Apr. 2018 CBS News reports Couch's mother, Tonya Couch, is still awaiting trial on charges of hindering apprehension of a felon and money laundering. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland.com, "'Affluenza teen' to be released from jail in April," 21 Mar. 2018 Nineteen states and the District of Columbia sued to stop an agreement that the government reached with Defense Distributed, arguing that the blueprints for how to print plastic guns could be obtained by felons or terrorists. Amy Lieu, Fox News, "Cody Wilson rented apartment in Taipei, local media say, as manhunt continues," 21 Sep. 2018 The employee's supervisor said there had been past problems with the employee issuing licenses to felons and counselling occurred beginning in 2008, but no formal disciplinary action was taken. Brendan Farrington, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Florida concealed weapons permits: 2012 probe found more state agency errors," 3 July 2018

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


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for felon


Middle English, from Anglo-French felun, fel evildoer, probably of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German fillen to beat, whip, fel skin — more at fell

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Statistics for felon

Last Updated

13 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for felon

The first known use of felon was in the 13th century

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English Language Learners Definition of felon

: a criminal who has committed a serious crime (called a felony)


fel·​on | \ˈfe-lən \

Kids Definition of felon



Medical Definition of felon 

: a painful abscess of the deep tissues of the palmar surface of the fingertip that is typically caused by infection of a bacterium (such as Staphylococcus aureus) and is marked by swelling and pain — compare paronychia, whitlow sense 1

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fel·​on | \ˈfe-lən \

Legal Definition of felon 

: one who has committed a felony

History and Etymology for felon

Anglo-French felon, fel, literally, evildoer, from Old French, probably of Germanic origin

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More from Merriam-Webster on felon

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with felon

Spanish Central: Translation of felon

Nglish: Translation of felon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of felon for Arabic Speakers

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