plagiarize

verb
pla·​gia·​rize | \ ˈplā-jə-ˌrīz also -jē-ə- How to pronounce plagiarize (audio) \
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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Joe Biden reversing course on bad ideas and apparently plagiarizing policy on climate change might have escaped your attention, too. Graeme Mcmillan, WIRED, "While You Were Offline: Trump Had a Very Long Week in the UK," 9 June 2019 Biden's first campaign for president back in 1988 was derailed after he was accused of plagiarizing parts of a speech from a British politician in the Democratic debate. NBC News, "Biden camp fixes climate plan after reports it copied other writings," 4 June 2019 He was accused of plagiarizing in campaign speeches. Matt Flegenheimer, New York Times, "Biden’s First Run for President Was a Calamity. Some Missteps Still Resonate.," 3 June 2019 So where some companies might meet a deadline by hiring more employees or implementing crunch hours, NURV is stuck crafting schemes to plagiarize these super coders’ work. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "Looking back at Antitrust, the movie where Bill Gates murders coders," 7 Sep. 2018 The website also hired one of the major promoters of the Pizzagate conspiracy theory (who then plagiarized from Unite the Right leader Jason Kessler), and Levant has appeared on Alex Jones’s Infowars show. Jane Coaston, Vox, "Steve King endorses a bona fide white supremacist for Toronto mayor," 18 Oct. 2018 Some have noted a sort of pastiche effect in the G70’s styling—a little of the Infiniti Q50 here, a lot of the Alfa Romeo Giulia there, a ventral chrome accent nearly plagiarized from the BMW. Dan Neil, WSJ, "Genesis G70: A Hyundai Spinoff You Can Proudly Drive," 12 Dec. 2018 Your Content does not plagiarize or otherwise infringe any third party copyright, moral rights or any other intellectual property rights or similar rights. Harper's BAZAAR, "Reader Submission Terms and Community Guidelines," 13 Jan. 2015 Is anybody working on a script about Mr. Biden plagiarizing speeches by Neil Kinnock? Matthew Hennessey, WSJ, "Cheney Biopic ‘Vice’ Has Few Virtues," 4 Oct. 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.

See More

First Known Use of plagiarize

1660, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for plagiarize

plagiary

Keep scrolling for more

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce plagiarize (audio) \
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 How to pronounce plagiarism (audio) \ noun
plagiarist \ -​rist How to pronounce plagiarist (audio) \ noun

History and Etymology for plagiarize

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on plagiarize

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with plagiarize

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for plagiarize

Spanish Central: Translation of plagiarize

Nglish: Translation of plagiarize for Spanish Speakers

Comments on plagiarize

What made you want to look up plagiarize? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

standardized text or formulaic language

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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