Definition of larceny
: the unlawful taking of personal property with intent to deprive the rightful owner of it permanently was arrested and charged with larceny
Examples of larceny in a Sentence
He was arrested and charged with larceny.
He has been accused of several larcenies.
Recent Examples of larceny from the Web
Lisa Corcoran of Vienna Township was arraigned Wednesday on a larceny charge.
Crocket was charged with sixth-degree larceny, criminal mischief, trespassing and interfering with police.
Most geek(kid)s don’t want to break into a locked area to commit larceny.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'larceny'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of larceny
Middle English, from Anglo-French larecin theft, from Latin latrocinium robbery, from latron-, latro mercenary soldier, probably from Greek *latrōn, from latron pay
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
LARCENY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of larceny for English Language Learners
law : the act of stealing something
LARCENY Defined for Kids
History for larceny
In Latin, the language of ancient Rome, the word latro referred to a soldier who fought for pay rather than from a sense of duty. Because such soldiers had a poor reputation, the meaning of the word came to be “robber” or “bandit,” and the word derived from it, latrocinium, meant “act of robbery.” Latrocinium became larecin, “theft,” in medieval French, and this word was borrowed into English as larceny.
Legal Definition of larceny
: the unlawful taking and carrying away of personal property with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of it permanently; also : any of several types of theft (as embezzlement or obtaining another's property by false pretenses) that have been traditionally distinguished from larceny Editor's note: Under the Model Penal Code and in states that follow it, larceny is a type of theft. In states where larceny is currently defined as a separate crime, it may include the crimes that were distinct from it under common law. grand larceny : felonious larceny of property having a value greater than an amount fixed by law; also : larceny accompanied by aggravating circumstances (as the use of threats) larceny by trick : larceny of property obtained by the use of misrepresentation especially in getting an owner to hand over something in the belief that it is for temporary purposes — compare false pretenses larceny from the person : larceny of property held by or within the immediate control of its owner petit larceny \ˈpe-tē-\ : larceny of property having a market value below an amount fixed by law —called also petty larceny Editor's note: Petit larceny is a misdemeanor.
Origin and Etymology of larceny
modification of Anglo-French larcine theft, from Old French larrecin, from Latin latrocinium robbery, from latron- latro mercenary soldier, brigand
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