hate crime


: any of various crimes (such as assault or defacement of property) when motivated by hostility to the victim as a member of a group (such as one based on color, creed, gender, or sexual orientation)

Examples of hate crime in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But those laws also became increasingly difficult to police in a world in which criminals could hide behind online identities that protected their hate crimes. Max Hoppenstedt, Washington Post, 16 Sep. 2023 New York City police did not respond to a question about whether the incident is being investigated as a hate crime. Jay Valle, NBC News, 15 Sep. 2023 Reports of hate crimes and hate incidents to the state’s Bias Response Hotline have nearly tripled in the past three years. Agreen, oregonlive, 8 Sep. 2023 The victims of the shootings were all Black, and the attack is being investigated as a hate crime. Marina Pitofsky, USA TODAY, 7 Sep. 2023 Chan shared video of the Chinatown attack in an effort to raise awareness of hate crimes against Asian Americans, which surged amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Carlos De Loera, Los Angeles Times, 5 Sep. 2023 The Justice Department is investigating the shooting as a hate crime and an act of racially motivated violent extremism, Attorney General Merrick Garland said Sunday. Nouran Salahieh, CNN, 28 Aug. 2023 Authorities on Sunday identified the three victims shot and killed a day earlier in Jacksonville, Florida, in attack that is being investigated as a hate crime. Gina Martinez, CBS News, 27 Aug. 2023 The hate crime garnered national attention and started debates about the violence and discrimination that LGBTQ+ people face in the United States. Mckinley Franklin, Variety, 31 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hate crime.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1960, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hate crime was in 1960

Dictionary Entries Near hate crime

Cite this Entry

“Hate crime.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hate%20crime. Accessed 28 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition

hate crime

plural hate crimes
: any of various crimes (as assault) when motivated by hostility to the victim based on social characteristics (as color, creed, gender, sexual orientation, or national origin)

Legal Definition

hate crime

: a crime that violates the victim's civil rights and that is motivated by hostility to the victim's race, religion, creed, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender

More from Merriam-Webster on hate crime

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