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90s Slang You Should Know


[pley-juh-riz-uh m, -jee-uh-riz-] /ˈpleɪ dʒəˌrɪz əm, -dʒi əˌrɪz-/
an act or instance of using or closely imitating the language and thoughts of another author without authorization and the representation of that author's work as one's own, as by not crediting the original author:
It is said that he plagiarized Thoreau's plagiarism of a line written by Montaigne.
a piece of writing or other work reflecting such unauthorized use or imitation:
“These two manuscripts are clearly plagiarisms,” the editor said, tossing them angrily on the floor.
Origin of plagiarism
First recorded in 1615-25; plagiar(y) + -ism
Related forms
plagiarist, noun
plagiaristic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for plagiarist
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Even Shakespeare is as much a plagiarist or as wise an artist, call it which you will, as the meanest of his fellows.

  • The strawberry is no more a plagiarist than the smilax, nor the grape than the nettle.

    The Foot-path Way Bradford Torrey
  • It may be that many a successful author has been a plagiarist, but no author ever succeeded because of his plagiary.

    Americanisms and Briticisms Brander Matthews
  • To this I reply that I borrow facts from every accessible source, and am not a plagiarist.

    A Simpleton Charles Reade
  • Your note about the resemblance of her verses to mine gave me great joy, though it only proved me a plagiarist.

  • He who borrows only from heterogeneous works is not a plagiarist.

    A Simpleton Charles Reade
  • Satie is hardly a plagiarist, though the value of his revolution is doubtful.

    Ivory Apes and Peacocks James Huneker
  • Yet, neither the one nor the other, as far as we know, was a plagiarist.

    The Book of Khalid Ameen Rihani
  • A third wrote in a sort of moral distress, asking, as in confidence, if Gray was really a plagiarist.

    A Miscellany of Men G. K. Chesterton
British Dictionary definitions for plagiarist


the act of plagiarizing
something plagiarized
Derived Forms
plagiarist, noun
plagiaristic, adjective
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 plagiarist

1670s, from plagiary "plagiarist" (see plagiarism) + -ist. Related: Plagiaristic.



1620s, from -ism + plagiary (n.) "plagiarist, literary thief" (1590s), from Latin plagiarius "kidnapper, seducer, plunderer, one who kidnaps the child or slave of another," used by Martial in the sense of "literary thief," from plagiare "to kidnap," plagium "kidnapping," from plaga "snare, hunting net," perhaps from PIE *plag- (on notion of "something extended"), from root *plak- (1) "to be flat" (see placenta).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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plagiarist in Culture

plagiarism definition

Literary theft. Plagiarism occurs when a writer duplicates another writer's language or ideas and then calls the work his or her own. Copyright laws protect writers' words as their legal property. To avoid the charge of plagiarism, writers take care to credit those from whom they borrow and quote.

Note: Similar theft in music or other arts is also called plagiarism.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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