crime

[krahym]
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noun
  1. an action or an instance of negligence that is deemed injurious to the public welfare or morals or to the interests of the state and that is legally prohibited.
  2. criminal activity and those engaged in it: to fight crime.
  3. the habitual or frequent commission of crimes: a life of crime.
  4. any offense, serious wrongdoing, or sin.
  5. a foolish, senseless, or shameful act: It's a crime to let that beautiful garden go to ruin.

Origin of crime

1200–50; Middle English < Anglo-French, Old French < Latin crīmin- (stem of crīmen) charge, crime
Related formscrime·less, adjectivecrime·less·ness, nounan·ti·crime, adjectivesu·per·crime, noun

Synonyms for crime

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Synonym study

1, 4. Crime, offense, sin agree in meaning a breaking of law. Crime usually means any serious violation of human laws: the crime of treason or robbery. Offense is used of an infraction of either human or divine law, and does not necessarily mean a serious one: an offense leading to a jail sentence; an offense against morals. Sin means a breaking of moral or divine law: the sins of greed and lust.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


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British Dictionary definitions for crime

crime

noun
  1. an act or omission prohibited and punished by law
    1. unlawful acts in generala wave of crime
    2. (as modifier)crime wave
  2. an evil act
  3. informal something to be regrettedit is a crime that he died young

Word Origin for crime

C14: from Old French, from Latin crīmen verdict, accusation, crime
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 crime
n.

mid-13c., "sinfulness," from Old French crimne (12c., Modern French crime), from Latin crimen (genitive criminis) "charge, indictment, accusation; crime, fault, offense," perhaps from cernere "to decide, to sift" (see crisis). But Klein (citing Brugmann) rejects this and suggests *cri-men, which originally would have been "cry of distress" (Tucker also suggests a root in "cry" words and refers to English plaint, plaintiff, etc.). Meaning "offense punishable by law" is from late 14c. The Latin word is glossed in Old English by facen, also "deceit, fraud, treachery." Crime wave first attested 1893, American English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper