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 Christian is charged with one count of felon in possession of a firearm and two counts of felony firearm. Minnah Arshad, Detroit Free Press, "Worthy: Detroit parents charged in 3-year-old son's shooting after handgun's 'unsafe storage'," 28 Mar. 2021 Keith Blake, 32, is in custody at the Porter County Jail on charges of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, a Level 4 felony. Amy Lavalley, chicagotribune.com, "Man, 32, charged in shooting death of Valparaiso teen over paternity test: court documents," 5 Mar. 2021 Rabago was booked in the Washington County Jail on several counts including second-degree murder and felon in possession of a weapon. oregonlive, "Man arrested in Beaverton after pursuit on suspicion of killing Portland man last month," 5 Mar. 2021 The felon, a 49-year-old Cleveland man, tried to buy a 9 mm handgun from the vendor who reported the incident. Bob Sandrick, cleveland, "College student calls police after roommate demands clean bathroom: gun show vendor sells weapon to felon: Berea police blotter," 26 Feb. 2021 Trump’s unofficial election advisory council now includes a felon, adherents of the QAnon conspiracy theory, a White House trade adviser and a Russian agent’s former lover. Anchorage Daily News, "Trump turns to fringe element in election fight," 22 Dec. 2020 Many landlords wouldn’t rent to him as an ex-felon. oregonlive, "Nonunanimous juries — recently ruled unconstitutional — convicted hundreds sitting in Oregon prisons. Now, they want a fair trial.," 18 Mar. 2021 If the constitutional amendment is approved, the restoration of rights will become automatic when a felon is released from prison. Denise Lavoie, Star Tribune, "Virginia governor restores voting rights to 69k ex-felons," 16 Mar. 2021 Felons never lose their right to vote in D.C.; Maryland automatically restores voting rights when a felon completes his or her sentence, though a conviction for vote buying requires action by the governor. Washington Post, "Virginia governor restores voting rights for 69,000 ex-felons, makes review process quicker," 16 Mar. 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

5 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Felon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/felon. Accessed 16 Apr. 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

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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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