in·​frac·​tion | \ in-ˈfrak-shən How to pronounce infraction (audio) \

Definition of infraction

: the act of infringing : violation

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Other Words from infraction

infract \ in-​ˈfrakt How to pronounce infraction (audio) \ transitive verb

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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.

Examples of infraction in a Sentence

speeding is only a minor infraction, but vehicular homicide is a serious felony
Recent Examples on the Web In that year, after a rash of those penalties early in the season sparked outcry from players and coaches, such calls became less frequent as game day officials modified the application of the infraction. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, 23 Sep. 2021 The data contains the longitude and latitude of each infraction, which allowed reporters to merge it with demographic data from the Census Bureau. Washington Post, 6 Aug. 2021 Maryland had a pair of offside penalties and an unsportsmanlike conduct infraction during a punt return. Ryan Mcfadden,, 12 Sep. 2021 Anyone who is charged with a crime that includes the possibility of jail time — in Utah, that’s anything above an infraction — is entitled to an attorney, even if the defendant is poor. Jessica Miller, The Salt Lake Tribune, 11 Aug. 2021 Oleksyk said the police will enforce the new gun rules; a violation and refusal to leave can bring a civil infraction for trespassing. oregonlive, 20 June 2021 Brian Bloom, the paper's publisher, acknowledged that his reporter shouldn't have had the recorder in court because it was not allowed but criticized the judge's move to imprison an editor for a minor infraction committed by a colleague. Bryan Anderson, Star Tribune, 7 July 2021 For example, a car driving at night without lights, although a minor infraction, would be considered an immediate safety issue and could be pulled over. Sara Cline,, 22 June 2021 When Hoffman was disqualified for a rules infraction after the race, Weltmeyer was declared the winner. Tony Baranek,, 14 Aug. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of infraction

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for infraction

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

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Time Traveler for infraction

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

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Last Updated

9 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Infraction.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for infraction



English Language Learners Definition of infraction

: an act that breaks a rule or law : violation


in·​frac·​tion | \ in-ˈfrak-shən How to pronounce infraction (audio) \

Kids Definition of infraction

: violation an infraction of the rules


in·​frac·​tion | \ in-ˈfrak-shən How to pronounce infraction (audio) \

Legal Definition of infraction

: the act of infringing : violation

Other Words from infraction

infract \ -​ˈfrakt How to pronounce infraction (audio) \ transitive verb

More from Merriam-Webster on infraction

Nglish: Translation of infraction for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of infraction for Arabic Speakers


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