trespass

[tres-puh s, -pas]
See more synonyms for trespass on Thesaurus.com
noun
  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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for trespasser

Historical Examples of trespasser

  • He must first catch the trespasser and this would be a pretty hard job.

    Flying Machines

    W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell

  • Here it was even worse than in the garden; there Boxtel was only a trespasser, here he was a thief.

    The Black Tulip

    Alexandre Dumas (Pere)

  • I was as much a trespasser now as he was, and I could see at a glance that he knew it.

  • He had greeted Pen somewhat coldly—as if Pen were a trespasser on his side of the street.

    In a Little Town

    Rupert Hughes

  • He felt himself a trespasser both on Ivan's time and on his charity.

    The Genius

    Margaret Horton Potter


British Dictionary definitions for trespasser

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
noun
  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 trespasser

trespass

v.

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