[ krim-uh-nl ]
/ ˈkrɪm ə nl /


of the nature of or involving crime.
guilty of crime.
Law. of or relating to crime or its punishment: a criminal proceeding.
senseless; foolish: It's criminal to waste so much good food.
exorbitant; grossly overpriced: They charge absolutely criminal prices.


a person guilty or convicted of a crime.

Origin of criminal

1350–1400; Middle English < Anglo-French < Late Latin crīminālis, equivalent to Latin crīmin- (stem of crīmen; see crime) + -ālis -al1


6 malefactor, evildoer, transgressor, culprit, felon, crook, hoodlum, gangster.

OTHER WORDS FROM criminal Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for criminal

British Dictionary definitions for criminal

/ (ˈkrɪmɪnəl) /


a person charged with and convicted of crime
a person who commits crimes for a living


of, involving, or guilty of crime
(prenominal) of or relating to crime or its punishmentcriminal court; criminal lawyer
informal senseless or deplorablea criminal waste of money

Derived forms of criminal

criminally, adverb

Word Origin for criminal

C15: from Late Latin crīminālis; see crime, -al 1
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