in·​fringe·​ment | \ in-ˈfrinj-mənt How to pronounce infringement (audio) \

Definition of infringement

1 : the act of infringing : violation
2 : an encroachment or trespass on a right or privilege

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Examples of infringement in a Sentence

any government action limiting freedom of speech is an infringement of the U.S. Constitution

Recent Examples on the Web

The sales ban is a provisional measure while the court considers a final verdict on Qualcomm’s patent-infringement suit. Yoko Kubota, WSJ, "Apple Pushes Out Software Update to Avoid China iPhone Ban," 19 Dec. 2018 In December 2015, the company filed a patent infringement suit against Dollar Shave Club. Kaitlyn Tiffany, Vox, "The absurd quest to make the “best” razor," 11 Dec. 2018 Registering a copyright provides for triple damages in an infringement suit and can better establish the date a work was created or published, but it hasn’t been required to create a copyright for decades. Glenn Fleishman, Fortune, "Farting Unicorn Artist Says Elon Musk Stinks," 28 June 2018 That court upheld a lower court's previous ruling, which said, basically, that animals can't file copyright infringement suits. Susannah Cullinane, CNN, "Monkey does not own selfie copyright, appeals court rules," 24 Apr. 2018 Playsaurus refuses to provide pay-outs for meritless infringement claims simply to ‘avoid costly litigation,’ so stop sending baseless letters with draconian demands. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "“Patent troll” doubles down, now accuses Clicker Heroes maker of libel," 2 Apr. 2018 The list of concerns over Chinese behavior extends beyond trade: theft of advanced technology; copyright infringement; and cyber-spying. Vivian Salama, WSJ, "Trump Team Set to Take Tough Stand in 90-Day Trade Talks With China," 4 Dec. 2018 In 2009, Mylan had Teva sued for patent infringement, leading to a settlement that kept Teva off the EpiPen market until 2015. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Years after Mylan’s epic EpiPen price hikes, it finally gets a generic rival," 17 Aug. 2018 The lawsuit, which alleges copyright infringement among other complaints, is seeking more than $75,000, according to court records in the Middle District of Florida’s Orlando division. Gabrielle Russon,, "Lake Mary man accuses Disney of stealing 'Inside Out' idea," 5 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'infringement.' 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 infringement

1628, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for infringement

Last Updated

16 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for infringement

The first known use of infringement was in 1628

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Legal Definition of infringement

: the act or an instance of infringing especially : the unauthorized use of copyrighted or patented material or of a trademark, trade name, or trade dress — see also equivalent, fair use

Note: Infringement of a trademark, trade name, or trade dress involves use of one by the infringer that is the same as that of the owner or so similar that it is likely to deceive or to cause confusion or mistake on the part of the average purchaser. Infringement of a copyright involves the copying of a material and substantial portion of the protected work. If the alleged infringer denies copying, the copyright holder may be able to prove infringement with circumstantial evidence of the infringer's access to the protected work and of similarities between the two works.

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Comments on infringement

What made you want to look up infringement? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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