in·​fringe·​ment in-ˈfrinj-mənt How to pronounce infringement (audio)
: the act of infringing : violation
: 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 company is also being sued for federal trademark infringement by a restaurant named Hudson House that opened in California before Pond’s American restaurant by the same name opened in Los Angeles. Sarah Blaskovich, Dallas News, 5 Sep. 2023 It was subsequently announced that James was disqualified for a lane infringement. Tyler Dragon, USA TODAY, 28 Aug. 2023 Instagram isn’t liable for copyright infringement when images are embedded on third-party websites, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled on Monday (via Torrent Freak). Emma Roth, The Verge, 19 July 2023 The use of the IP only becomes copyright infringement if and when the drug gets commercialized and sold to the public. Paolo Confino, Fortune, 10 Aug. 2023 In April, Pooper Trooper sent a cease-and-desist letter to Scoop Troop, which in May rejected Pooper Trooper’s requests to change its name and denied the infringement allegations, according to the lawsuit. Kyle Melnick, Washington Post, 31 July 2023 Receiving a trademark would not prevent other companies from suing X from trademark infringement. Kevin Collier, NBC News, 26 July 2023 Shein sued Temu for copyright and trademark infringement earlier this year in Illinois. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, 19 July 2023 Some commenters saw this as a classist infringement on their personal rights. Paris Wolfe, cleveland, 29 July 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1628, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of infringement was in 1628

Dictionary Entries Near infringement

Cite this Entry

“Infringement.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2023.

Legal Definition


: 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

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