Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

plagiarism

[pley-juh-riz-uh m, -jee-uh-riz-]
See more synonyms for plagiarism on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. an act or instance of using or closely imitating the language and thoughts of another author without authorization and the representation of that author's work as one's own, as by not crediting the original author: It is said that he plagiarized Thoreau's plagiarism of a line written by Montaigne.
  2. a piece of writing or other work reflecting such unauthorized use or imitation: “These two manuscripts are clearly plagiarisms,” the editor said, tossing them angrily on the floor.
Show More

Origin of plagiarism

First recorded in 1615–25; plagiar(y) + -ism
Related formspla·gia·rist, nounpla·gia·ris·tic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for plagiarism

infringement, piracy, falsification, appropriation, fraud, borrowing, theft, stealing, cribbing

Examples from the Web for plagiarism

Contemporary Examples of plagiarism

Historical Examples of plagiarism

  • She borrowed it now in her hour of need, and laughed, unconscious of her plagiarism.

    Audrey Craven

    May Sinclair

  • But it was when they charged him with plagiarism that his critics hit him on the raw.

    Recollections

    David Christie Murray

  • The two match-boxes were just alike, but neither was a plagiarism.

    Pages From an Old Volume of Life

    Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

  • Randal Leslie might be mean in his plagiarism, but he turned the useless into use.

    My Novel, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • Besides all this, there is the painful question of plagiarism.


British Dictionary definitions for plagiarism

plagiarism

noun
  1. the act of plagiarizing
  2. something plagiarized
Show More
Derived Formsplagiarist, nounplagiaristic, adjective
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 plagiarism

n.

1620s, from -ism + plagiary (n.) "plagiarist, literary thief" (1590s), from Latin plagiarius "kidnapper, seducer, plunderer, one who kidnaps the child or slave of another," used by Martial in the sense of "literary thief," from plagiare "to kidnap," plagium "kidnapping," from plaga "snare, hunting net," perhaps from PIE *plag- (on notion of "something extended"), from root *plak- (1) "to be flat" (see placenta).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

plagiarism in Culture

plagiarism

Literary theft. Plagiarism occurs when a writer duplicates another writer's language or ideas and then calls the work his or her own. Copyright laws protect writers' words as their legal property. To avoid the charge of plagiarism, writers take care to credit those from whom they borrow and quote.

Show More

Note

Similar theft in music or other arts is also called plagiarism.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.