fel·​on | \ ˈfe-lən How to pronounce felon (audio) \

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 He was charged with three felonies — unlawful possession of a handgun, unlawful possession of a handgun by a felon and possessing a firearm while not being eligible for a FOID card. Clifford Ward, chicagotribune.com, "Beach Park man Tasered, pepper-sprayed after resisting arrest, officials say," 4 May 2021 In the past two years, San Francisco has seen one of the lowest prosecutions for felon arrests in the city's history. Joseph Simonson, Washington Examiner, "San Francisco district attorney under fire for going soft on domestic abusers," 26 Apr. 2021 Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson, filmmaker and felon Dinesh D’Souza and right-wing celebrities Diamond and Silk. Steven Lemongello, orlandosentinel.com, "Parler social network draws Orlando conservatives as Facebook, Twitter crack down on false info," 18 Nov. 2020 He was also charged with possession of a firearm by an out-of-state felon. Evan Frank, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "An Indiana woman lied when buying guns that were later used in the shooting of two police officers in Delafield, officials say," 16 Nov. 2020 Young is one of thousands of men and women impacted by the state's laws that limit an ex-felon's right to vote, according to numbers from the NAACP. Caralyn Ryan, CNN, "Formerly incarcerated man and first-time voter energizes others to cast their ballots," 30 Oct. 2020 In 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty to one felon count of lying to investigators about meetings with Russians in the White House. Adrienne Dunn, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Meme accurately describes legal trouble for members of 2016 Trump campaign," 27 May 2019 According to court documents, Villegas was arrested in Riverside two days after the pursuit on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm. City News Service, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Man charged with leading Border Patrol on high-speed chase makes first court appearance," 23 Apr. 2021 But instead he was arrested and charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. Kevin Krause, Dallas News, "How a dangerous North Texas militiaman became a symbol for a growing extremist movement," 19 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective One was to turn most of the felon population over to the U.S. government. Washington Post, "Could D.C. statehood reach all the way into the prison system?," 25 Mar. 2021 Before its passing, Florida had a 150-year ban on felon voting. Mica Soellner, Washington Examiner, "More than 67,000 Florida felons registered to vote in key swing state," 20 Oct. 2020 The state sent the felon memo to the 67 county election supervisors this week, but did not distribute it publicly. Terry Spencer, Star Tribune, "Florida felon purge would be too late for this election," 16 Oct. 2020 Just this week, Florida’s Department of State published guidance on ex-felon voting eligibility. Rachel Glickhouse, ProPublica, "Electionland 2020: USPS Chaos, Election Cybersecurity, August Voting and More," 14 Aug. 2020 Nineteen states and the District of Columbia filed a brief asking an appeals court to rule against the state in its ex-felon voting case. Rachel Glickhouse, ProPublica, "Electionland 2020: Masks at the Polls, Election Funding, Ex-Felon Enfranchisement and More," 7 Aug. 2020

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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Time Traveler for felon

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for felon

Last Updated

11 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Felon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/felon. Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for felon



English Language Learners Definition of felon

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


fel·​on | \ ˈfe-lən How to pronounce felon (audio) \

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 How to pronounce felon (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on felon

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for felon

Nglish: Translation of felon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of felon for Arabic Speakers

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