[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. crimean gothic,
  2. crimean tatar,
  3. crimean war,
  4. crimen injuria,
  5. crimewave,
  6. criminal assault,
  7. criminal code,
  8. criminal contempt,
  9. criminal conversation,
  10. criminal court

Origin of criminal

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

1. felonious, unlawful. See illegal. 6. malefactor, evildoer, transgressor, culprit, felon, crook, hoodlum, gangster.

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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 Formscriminally, 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

Word Origin and History for criminal
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper