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

The man accused of killing one person and wounding three last month at a synagogue outside San Diego is being charged with more than 100 federal hate crimes, prosecutors said. Ian Lovett, WSJ, "Accused California Synagogue Shooter Is Charged With Hate Crimes," 9 May 2019 Given that Islamophobic hate crimes saw a rise in Spain in 2017, this particular storyline may hit home for many viewers and feels fairly timely. Isabella Gomez, Teen Vogue, ""Elite" Star Danna Paola on Playing the Las Encinas Mean Girl and Her Reaction to Finding Out the Killer," 8 Oct. 2018 In addition to the hate crime, Ruggerio also was charged with a count of second-degree aggravated harassment—both crimes come with a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail. Yesha Callahan, The Root, "Ranting Racist on New York Train Receives Hate Crime Charge: Prosecutor," 24 May 2018 The government says that from 2013 to 2017, hate crimes nearly doubled in England and Wales, and those motivated by religious hatred nearly quadrupled. New York Times, "Muslim U.K. Lawmakers Receive Threatening Packages With Letter," 16 Mar. 2018 But statistics of hate crimes against Asians are alarmingly depressing. Julia Felsenthal, Marie Claire, "Crazy Rich Asians Star Gemma Chan Joins the Royal Court in Mary Queen of Scots," 29 Nov. 2018 The Anti-Defamation League said in a news release that efforts need to be redoubled to address the rise of hate crimes. Joseph De Avila, WSJ, "Anti-Semitic Incidents Fuel 17% Rise in Hate Crimes, FBI Says," 13 Nov. 2018 In 2009, President Barack Obama signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law, expanding the federal definition of hate crimes to include victims targeted for their gender identity, sexuality, or disability. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "“Welcome home, Matt”: Bishop Robinson welcomes Matthew Shepard — and gay Christians — back to the church," 26 Oct. 2018 Attacks on Muslims had risen 67 percent in 2015, and then another 19 percent in 2016, making it the year with the highest number of hate crimes against Muslims since 2001, the year of the 9/11 attacks. Eli Rosenberg, chicagotribune.com, "He threatened a Muslim family that planned to move to his neighborhood. Now, he'll go to prison.," 13 June 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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Dictionary Entries near hate crime

hat dance



hate crime



hate mail

Statistics for hate crime

Last Updated

14 May 2019

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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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hate crime

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hate crime

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