in·​frac·​tion in-ˈfrak-shən How to pronounce infraction (audio)
: the act of infringing : violation
infract transitive verb

Did you know?

An infraction is usually the breaking of a law, rule, or agreement. So a nation charged with an infraction of an international treaty will usually have to pay a penalty. In Federal law, an infraction is even smaller than a misdemeanor, and the only penalty is a fine. Most of us occasionally commit infractions of parking laws and get ticketed; speeding tickets are usually for infractions as well, though they go on a permanent record and can end up costing you money for years to come. The closely related word infringement generally refers to a violation of a right or privilege; use of another's writings without permission, for example, may be an infringement of the copyright.

Example Sentences

speeding is only a minor infraction, but vehicular homicide is a serious felony
Recent Examples on the Web Dismissal or resignation may be too extreme for Harbaugh’s alleged infraction. Nathan Baird, cleveland, 6 Jan. 2023 Setting aside Vejmekla’s stellar performance, the true showstopper of the night was an officiating crew that curiously decided not to whistle play dead with what appeared to be a blatant icing infraction in the final seconds of regulation. Kevin Paul Dupont,, 10 Dec. 2022 Pass interference is the top infraction with 10 flags with four coming in Knoxville. Michael Casagrande |, al, 18 Oct. 2022 Francke said county officials ended up agreeing with the union that the offense was a technical infraction and withheld the record. Steve Thompson, Washington Post, 26 Aug. 2022 In the face of all-out verbal warfare, slipping in an extra picture of their grandchild seems like a pretty minor infraction. Jacobina Martin, Washington Post, 7 Jan. 2023 What about Jones telling the media after a blowout of Indianapolis that Ezekiel Elliott didn’t start because of a minor infraction of team rules? Dallas News, 8 Dec. 2022 She was issued an infraction for failure to drive in a proper lane. Mike Mavredakis, Hartford Courant, 30 Dec. 2022 On Saturday, the Cowboys committed a similar infraction, sending Gallup to the field’s only playable section where the sun posed an impediment. Dallas News, 26 Dec. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'infraction.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Middle English, from Medieval Latin infraction-, infractio, from Latin, subduing, from infringere to break — more at infringe

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of infraction was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near infraction

Cite this Entry

“Infraction.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


in·​frac·​tion in-ˈfrak-shən How to pronounce infraction (audio)
: an act of violating something : violation

Legal Definition


in·​frac·​tion in-ˈfrak-shən How to pronounce infraction (audio)
: the act of infringing : violation
infract transitive verb

More from Merriam-Webster on infraction

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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