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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Qualcomm sued Apple for patent infringement in courts around the world, while Apple pressed the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Qualcomm's business practices. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "How Qualcomm shook down the cell phone industry for almost 20 years," 30 May 2019 The European Commission, which polices compliance with E.U. laws, opened an infringement procedure Monday against Poland over the Supreme Court law. NBC News, "Poland's government forces Supreme Court judges to retire early," 4 July 2018 This interoperability defence would have to shield digital toolsmiths from all manner of claims: tortious interference, bypassing copyright locks, patent infringement and, of course, violating terms of service. The Economist, "Regulating Big Tech makes them stronger, so they need competition instead," 6 June 2019 The problem is that MariCar was never officially approved by Nintendo, and the gaming giant sued the tour company in Feburuary 2017 for copyright infringement — and won this year. Alex Ward, Vox, "What I learned go-karting around Tokyo dressed as Spider-Man," 12 Dec. 2018 Despite their attempts not to run afoul of the university, Illinois sued the startup for intellectual property infringement. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "Later, Navigator: How Netscape Won and Then Lost the World Wide Web," 4 Apr. 2019 Over the past few years, there have been many accusations, lawsuits, and settlements between indie designers and fast fashion conglomerates over alleged copyright infringements. Alyssa Hardy, Teen Vogue, "Imitation In Fashion is a Huge Problem, But It's Probably Not Going Anywhere," 13 Mar. 2019 Henry Gradstein, with King, Holmes, Paterno & Soriano LLP, is lead attorney in class action copyright infringement suits against Spotify, Sirius XM and Pandora. Henry Gradstein, Billboard, "How the Music Modernization Act Takes Royalties From DIY Songwriters and Gives Them to the Major Publishers (Guest Column)," 2 Mar. 2018 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of infringement

1628, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about infringement

Statistics for infringement

Last Updated

25 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for infringement

The first known use of infringement was in 1628

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).


to take the place or position of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!