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[fuh-loh-nee-uh s] /fəˈloʊ ni əs/
Law. pertaining to, of the nature of, or involving a felony:
felonious homicide; felonious intent.
wicked; base; villainous.
Origin of felonious
late Middle English
1375-1425; felony + -ous; replacing late Middle English felonous < Anglo-French, Old French
Related forms
feloniously, adverb
feloniousness, noun
nonfelonious, adjective
nonfeloniously, adverb
nonfeloniousness, noun
unfelonious, adjective
unfeloniously, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for felonious
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The theft of slaves is a crime; they are a subject-matter of felonious asportation.

  • The fact that the shooting is felonious does not make it any more likely to kill people.

    The Common Law Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
  • The clause ‘but for some felonious end’ is therefore to some extent tautological.

    Milton's Comus John Milton
  • The suit was by way of appeal; the cause of action, a felonious trespass.

    The Common Law Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
  • "I found it on the floor," is considered by them sufficient excuse when detected in any felonious appropriation.

    Folly as It Flies Fanny Fern
  • I wasn't tryin' to break into the army with felonious intent.

    The House of Torchy Sewell Ford
  • felonious clerks were thenceforward to suffer like secular criminals.

  • Mr. Hutton started, as though he had been taken in some felonious act.

    Mortal Coils Aldous Huxley
  • His nephews, Captains Forster and Montagu, were each accused of a felonious appropriation of property belonging to the crown.

British Dictionary definitions for felonious


(criminal law) of, involving, or constituting a felony
(obsolete) wicked; base
Derived Forms
feloniously, adverb
feloniousness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for felonious

mid-15c. (implied in feloniously), from felony + -ous. Replaced felonous (mid-14c.) by c.1600. Felonly (c.1300) was another variation.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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