hate crime


Definition of 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

Felony hate crime is a class 3 felony, and carries a possible sentence of 2 to 5 years, but probation is also an option, Simonton said. Phil Helsel /, NBC News, "Man seen in video harassing woman in Puerto Rico shirt charged with hate crime," 12 July 2018 Twenty-eight other hate crimes were also filed related to the others injured in the incident. Robert Strickley, Cincinnati.com, "Charlottesville driver, from NKY, faces federal hate crime charges," 27 June 2018 Urbanski could receive a life sentence without the possibility of parole if convicted of the first-degree murder charge, and an additional 20 years if convicted of a hate crime resulting in death. Childs Walker, baltimoresun.com, "Trial delayed for former UM student charged with hate crime in fatal stabbing of Bowie State student," 5 July 2018 Few observers would classify Rusfeldt’s outbursts as hate crimes, but his heated sermonizing alarms students and administrators. Dan Spinelli, Philly.com, "He was a competitive snowboarder accused of defrauding investors. Now this Christian preacher has area colleges on edge," 11 May 2018 The men are charged with aggravated battery, but the charges could be enhanced under state law if they are classified as hate crimes. Fox News, "4 men accused of gay attack could face hate crime charges," 11 Apr. 2018 Sean Urbanski, 23, faces first-degree murder and hate crime charges in the death of Bowie State student Richard Collins III, who was visiting College Park last May when police say Urbanski fatally stabbed him. Talia Richman, baltimoresun.com, "Man charged in killing of Bowie St. student wants evidence tying him to 'Alt-Reich' Facebook group excluded," 7 May 2018 Purinton still faces federal hate crime charges for the shooting and is scheduled for a change of plea hearing May 21. CBS News, "Kansas man sentenced to life in prison for killing Indian immigrant," 5 May 2018 Today, as hate crimes and hate groups are on the rise, fueled by a thriving Islamophobia industry that spreads myths and misperceptions about Islam and Muslims, hateful rhetoric has become a norm. Nina M. Fernando, Teen Vogue, "My Parents Fled Religious Violence, So I'm Speaking Out About President Trump's Travel Ban," 25 Apr. 2018

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

1960, in the meaning defined above

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hate mail

Statistics for hate crime

Last Updated

15 Oct 2018

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The first known use of hate crime was in 1960

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More Definitions for hate crime

hate crime


Legal Definition of 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

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