verb (used with object), in·fringed, in·fring·ing.

to commit a breach or infraction of; violate or transgress: to infringe a copyright; to infringe a rule.

verb (used without object), in·fringed, in·fring·ing.

to encroach or trespass (usually followed by on or upon): Don't infringe on his privacy.

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

Synonyms for infringe

1. break, disobey. 2. poach. See trespass. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for infringing

Contemporary Examples of infringing

Historical Examples of infringing

  • He was now infringing upon the great principle of personal freedom.

  • The penalty for infringing the following rules is instant "removal."

    Frenzied Finance

    Thomas W. Lawson

  • I am not aware of any law of the State of California that we are infringing.


    Bret Harte

  • For the penalty for infringing any rule in the whole list was death.

    Following the Equator, Complete

    Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

  • He had no reasonable excuse for infringing the etiquette of the occasion.

British Dictionary definitions for infringing



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

Word Origin for infringe

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 infringing



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper