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arson

[ahr-suh n]
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noun
  1. Law. the malicious burning of another's house or property, or in some statutes, the burning of one's own house or property, as to collect insurance.
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Origin of arson

1670–80; < Anglo-French, Old French < Late Latin ārsiōn- (stem of ārsiō) a burning, equivalent to ārs- (Latin ārd(ere) to burn (cf. ardent) + -t(us) past participle suffix) + -iōn- -ion
Related formsar·son·ous, adjective
Can be confusedarsenous arsonous
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for arsonous

arson

noun
  1. criminal law the act of intentionally or recklessly setting fire to another's property or to one's own property for some improper reason
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Derived Formsarsonist, noun

Word Origin

C17: from Old French, from Medieval Latin ārsiō, from Latin ārdēre to burn; see ardent
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

Word Origin and History for arsonous

arson

n.

1670s, from Anglo-French arsoun (late 13c.), Old French arsion, from Late Latin arsionem (nominative arsio) "a burning," noun of action from past participle stem of Latin ardere "to burn," from PIE root *as- "to burn, glow" (see ash (n.1)). The Old English term was bærnet, literally "burning;" and Coke has indictment of burning (1640).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper