in flagrante delicto


in flagrante de·​lic·​to ˌin-flə-ˈgrän-tē-di-ˈlik-(ˌ)tō How to pronounce in flagrante delicto (audio)
: in the very act of committing a misdeed : red-handed
: in the midst of sexual activity

Examples of in flagrante delicto in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Female arthropods of some other species--including, most famously, the praying mantis--also eat their partners in flagrante delicto. Discover Magazine, 29 June 2010 Even if someone could distinguish a leaf insect from its arboreal brethren, there is an almost zero chance the insect would be in the company of its mate, let alone in flagrante delicto. New York Times, 1 Dec. 2020 After her phone is hacked, nude photos of her are splashed all over the Web, in flagrante delicto with a man whose cob is visibly not Cob’s. Alexandra Schwartz, The New Yorker, 30 Nov. 2020 Its owner, May Mamarbachi, was jailed under Bashar al-Assad for forwarding a cartoon of the dictator in flagrante delicto with the prime minister of Lebanon. New York Times, 11 Nov. 2020 Less than six months into his freshman year, Beard would be kicked out of Reed College for being caught in flagrante delicto with a professor. Rien Fertel, WSJ, 1 Oct. 2020 In the film’s opening scene, she’s caught in flagrante delicto with that student, by the guy’s fiancée. Glenn Kenny, New York Times, 7 May 2020 She is discovered there, more or less in flagrante delicto, by Kevin (Maki Borden), an old schoolmate, now a Dairy Queen employee who is addicted to Dungeons and Dragons and working on a novel about witches. Ben Brantley, New York Times, 30 Aug. 2017 See More

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

Word History


Medieval Latin, literally, while the crime is blazing

First Known Use

1772, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of in flagrante delicto was in 1772

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Cite this Entry

“In flagrante delicto.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

Legal Definition

in flagrante delicto

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