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verb (used with object), in·fringed, in·fring·ing.
  1. to commit a breach or infraction of; violate or transgress: to infringe a copyright; to infringe a rule.
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verb (used without object), in·fringed, in·fring·ing.
  1. to encroach or trespass (usually followed by on or upon): Don't infringe on his privacy.
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Origin of infringe

1525–35; < Latin infringere to break, weaken, equivalent to in- in-2 + -fringere, combining form of frangere to break
Related formsin·fring·er, nounun·in·fringed, adjective
Can be confusedinfringe impinge


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1. break, disobey. 2. poach. See trespass.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

contravene, intrude, disobey, impose, trespass, encroach, offend, breach, meddle, crash, borrow, pirate, break, lift, presume, obtrude, entrench, steal, invade, infract

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British Dictionary definitions for infringe


  1. (tr) to violate or break (a law, an agreement, etc)
  2. (intr; foll by on or upon) to encroach or trespass
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Derived Formsinfringement, nouninfringer, noun

Word Origin

C16: from Latin infringere to break off, from frangere to break
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 infringe


mid-15c., enfrangen, "to violate," from Latin infringere "to damage, break off, break, bruise," from in- "in" (see in- (2)) + frangere "to break" (see fraction). Meaning of "encroach" first recorded c.1760. Related: Infringed; infringing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper