[tres-puh s, -pas]
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  1. Law.
    1. an unlawful act causing injury to the person, property, or rights of another, committed with force or violence, actual or implied.
    2. a wrongful entry upon the lands of another.
    3. the action to recover damages for such an injury.
  2. an encroachment or intrusion.
  3. an offense, sin, or wrong.
verb (used without object)
  1. Law. to commit a trespass.
  2. to encroach on a person's privacy, time, etc.; infringe (usually followed by on or upon).
  3. to commit a transgression or offense; transgress; offend; sin.

Origin of trespass

1250–1300; (noun) Middle English trespas transgression, offense < Old French, derivative of trespasser, equivalent to tres- (< Latin trāns- trans-) + passer to pass; (v.) Middle English trespassen, derivative of the noun
Related formstres·pass·er, nounnon·tres·pass, nounun·tres·passed, adjectiveun·tres·pass·ing, adjective

Synonyms for trespass

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4, 5. T respass , encroach , infringe , intrude imply overstepping boundaries and assuming possession of others' property or crowding onto the right of others. To trespass is to pass unlawfully within the boundaries of another's property: Hunters trespass on a farmer's fields. To encroach is to creep, gradually and often stealthily, upon territory, rights, or privileges, so that a footing is imperceptibly established: The sea slowly encroached upon the land. To infringe is to break in upon or invade rights, customs, or the like, by violating or disregarding them: to infringe upon a patent. To intrude is to thrust oneself into the presence of a person or into places or circumstances where one is not welcome: to intrude into a private conversation. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for trespass

Contemporary Examples of trespass

Historical Examples of trespass

British Dictionary definitions for trespass


verb (intr)
  1. (often foll by on or upon) to go or intrude (on the property, privacy, or preserves of another) with no right or permission
  2. law to commit trespass, esp to enter wrongfully upon land belonging to another
  3. archaic (often foll by against) to sin or transgress
  1. law
    1. any unlawful act committed with force or violence, actual or implied, which causes injury to another person, his property, or his rights
    2. a wrongful entry upon another's land
    3. an action to recover damages for such injury or wrongful entry
  2. an intrusion on another's privacy or preserves
  3. a sin or offence
Derived Formstrespasser, noun

Word Origin for trespass

C13: from Old French trespas a passage, from trespasser to pass through, from tres- trans- + passer, ultimately from Latin passus a pace 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 trespass

c.1300, "transgress, offend, sin," from Old French trespasser "pass beyond or across," from tres- "beyond" (from Latin trans-) + passer "go by, pass" (see pass (v.)). Meaning "enter unlawfully" is first attested in forest laws of Scottish Parliament (c.1455). The noun is recorded from late 13c. The modern descendant of Old French trespasser, French trépasser has come to be used euphemistically for "to die" (cf. cross over, and obituary).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper