• synonyms


  1. the study of crime and criminals: a branch of sociology.
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Origin of criminology

1855–60; < Latin crīmin- (stem of crīmen; see crime) + -o- + -logy
Related formscrim·i·no·log·i·cal [krim-uh-nl-oj-i-kuh l] /ˌkrɪm ə nlˈɒdʒ ɪ kəl/, crim·i·no·log·ic, adjectivecrim·i·no·log·i·cal·ly, adverbcrim·i·nol·o·gist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for criminological

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • But kernels of criminological thought can be contained in a thin volume.

    Criminal Types

    V. M. Masten

  • This is very instructive from the criminological point of view.

  • Additional bibliography of psychological and criminological works likely to be generally helpful has been appended.

  • They are so barren of originality that a criminological Linnæus could classify them with absolute nicety.

    Max Carrados

    Ernest Bramah

  • He abstracted the severed head of Becker on some criminological excuse, and took it home in his official box.

British Dictionary definitions for criminological


  1. the scientific study of crime, criminal behaviour, law enforcement, etcSee also penology
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Derived Formscriminological (ˌkrɪmɪnəˈlɒdʒɪkəl) or criminologic, adjectivecriminologically, adverbcriminologist, noun

Word Origin

C19: from Latin crimin- crime, -logy
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 criminological



1890, from Latin stem of criminal + -ology. Criminologist is recorded from 1857.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper