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

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 district insists it’s a necessary step to ensure students and staff are protected against the coronavirus, but critics say it’s an infringement on personal liberty. Jonathan Wosen, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 Dec. 2021 The group, which includes Pearson Education Inc. and McGraw Hill LLC, filed for copyright and trademark infringement in Virginia federal court on Wednesday. Vipal Monga, WSJ, 1 Dec. 2021 The Guardians ran into a legal issue along the way as a local roller derby team also called the Guardians filed a lawsuit alleging trademark infringement. Tom Withers, ajc, 19 Nov. 2021 That spring, mysterious sellers on Amazon started issuing copyright infringement complaints against Lam, which prompted Amazon to suspend her account. Will Evans, Wired, 18 Nov. 2021 The following month, the European Commission opened an infringement procedure in an effort to force Hungary to reverse the legislation. Washington Post, 16 Nov. 2021 Eastwood, 91, first brought the underlying trademark infringement and defamation lawsuit last year, without yet knowing the identity of Mediatonas. Nancy Dillon, Rolling Stone, 4 Oct. 2021 The public is split about evenly, 51% to 49%, on whether requiring proof of vaccination for everyday activities is an acceptable way to increase the vaccination rate, or an unacceptable infringement on personal rights. Melissa Macaya, CNN, 13 Sep. 2021 In particular, members of the governing Conservative Party have objected to such passports as an unacceptable burden on businesses and an infringement on residents' human rights. Compiled Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 13 Sep. 2021

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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Time Traveler for infringement

Time Traveler

The first known use of infringement was in 1628

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Statistics for infringement

Last Updated

8 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Infringement.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for infringement



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.

More from Merriam-Webster on infringement

Nglish: Translation of infringement for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of infringement for Arabic Speakers


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