plagiarize

verb
pla·​gia·​rize | \ˈplā-jə-ˌrīz also -jē-ə- \
plagiarized; plagiarizing

Definition of plagiarize 

transitive verb

: to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own : use (another's production) without crediting the source

intransitive verb

: to commit literary theft : present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source

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Other Words from plagiarize

plagiarizer noun

The Kidnapping Roots of Plagiarize

If schools wish to impress upon their students how serious an offense plagiarism is, they might start with an explanation of the word’s history. Plagiarize (and plagiarism) comes from the Latin plagiarius “kidnapper.” This word, derived from the Latin plaga (“a net used by hunters to catch game”), extended its meaning in Latin to include a person who stole the words, rather than the children, of another. When plagiarius first entered English in the form plagiary, it kept its original reference to kidnapping, a sense that is now quite obsolete.

Examples of plagiarize in a Sentence

He plagiarized a classmate's report. She plagiarized from an article she read on the Internet.

Recent Examples on the Web

The fledgling group, which has just 36 members, is also encouraging universities to make greater efforts to detect plagiarism—such as by installing software that can detect plagiarized material—and to penalize those who copy. Linda Nordling, Science | AAAS, "In Nigeria, a battle against academic plagiarism heats up," 27 June 2018 In North Carolina, Deberry’s candidacy hit a speed bump in March, when she was accused of plagiarizing pieces of Krasner’s campaign website. Chris Palmer, Philly.com, "6 months in, Philly DA Larry Krasner cementing national stature among reform advocates," 12 June 2018 Which works has The Shape of Water been criticized of plagiarizing? Eliza Berman, Time, "Everything to Know About the Shape of Water Plagiarism Controversy," 1 Mar. 2018 An Arizona state senator appears to have plagiarized parts of his answers to a 2016 candidate questionnaire that appeared on azcentral.com. Dustin Gardiner, azcentral, "Arizona state Sen. Juan Mendez accused of plagiarism," 29 Mar. 2018 The Girls came out in June 2016 to wide acclaim — but the following year, her ex-boyfriend Chaz Reetz-Laiolo filed a lawsuit accusing her of plagiarizing the book from his work. Gabriella Paiella, The Cut, "Judge Dismisses Plagiarism Lawsuit Against The Girls Author Emma Cline," 2 July 2018 Apparently the kid is a remarkable writer and literary analyst, but was held back the previous year for allegedly plagiarizing a paper. refinery29.com, "The Affair Season 4, Episode 1 Recap: You're The Earthquake I've Been Waiting On," 18 June 2018 Pirating is another term for stealing or plagiarizing, something every school board would support, right? Scott Springer, Cincinnati.com, "Scott Springer column: Stop piling on, looking for blame in the high school name game," 15 June 2018 But historians have claimed that Glasse ruthlessly plagiarized her recipes, lifting as many as 263 dishes from a single earlier source. Laignee Barron, Time, "Today's Google Doodle Celebrates Hannah Glasse, the Julia Child of the 18th Century," 27 Mar. 2018

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

1660, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for plagiarize

plagiary

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More Definitions for plagiarize

plagiarize

verb

English Language Learners Definition of plagiarize

: to use the words or ideas of another person as if they were your own words or ideas

plagiarize

verb
pla·​gia·​rize | \ˈplā-jə-ˌrīz \
plagiarized; plagiarizing

Legal Definition of plagiarize 

transitive verb

: to copy and pass off (the expression of ideas or words of another) as one's own : use (another's work) without crediting the source the book contained plagiarized materialSmith v. Little, Brown & Co., 265 F. Supp. 451 (1965)

intransitive verb

: to present as new and original an idea or work derived from an existing source

Other Words from plagiarize

plagiarism \ -​ˌri-​zəm \ noun
plagiarist \ -​rist \ noun

History and Etymology for plagiarize

from plagiary plagiarist, from Latin plagiarius, literally, kidnapper, from plagium netting of game, kidnapping, from plaga net

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