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

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 This evidence dramatically changes the mass shooting’s narrative; politicians and individuals across the political spectrum had positioned it as an anti-LGBTQ hate crime. Jane Coaston, Vox, "New evidence shows the Pulse nightclub shooting wasn’t about anti-LGBTQ hate," 5 Apr. 2018 Read More Missouri law doesn’t allow hate crime charges in transgender teen’s brutal slaying Vrba is one of four charged in the killing of the teen. Kaitlyn Schwers, kansascity, "Death penalty sought for Missouri teen charged with slaying of transgender girl | The Kansas City Star," 3 Apr. 2018 In December 2016, a jury convicted Roof on 33 federal hate crime charges in connection with the killings at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Wilborn P. Nobles Iii, NOLA.com, "Gas leak prompts evacuation at Woodland West Elementary in Harvey," 15 Mar. 2018 Timothy Trybus, 62, is charged with two felony counts of hate crime, Cook County State's Attorney spokeswoman Tandra Simonton said. Phil Helsel /, NBC News, "Man seen in video harassing woman in Puerto Rico shirt charged with hate crime," 12 July 2018 Anti-Muslim discrimination has been on the rise — in Germany, for example, the government recorded more than 900 attacks against individuals and mosques in 2017 — and European officials are concerned about increasing incidents of hate crime. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "Austria is closing 7 mosques and kicking out 60 imams," 8 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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Statistics for hate crime

Last Updated

17 Sep 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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