war crime


Usually war crimes. crimes committed against an enemy, prisoners of war, or subjects in wartime that violate international agreements or, as in the case of genocide, are offenses against humanity.

Origin of war crime

First recorded in 1940–45
Related formswar criminal, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for war crimes

genocide, holocaust

British Dictionary definitions for war crimes

war crime


a crime committed in wartime in violation of the accepted rules and customs of war, such as genocide, ill-treatment of prisoners of war, etc
Derived Formswar criminal, noun
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

war crimes in Culture

war crimes

Acts committed by soldiers or government officials, either in the course of a war or in bringing on a war, that violate the customs of warfare. Examples of war crimes include atrocities committed against civilians (see My Lai massacre) and the mistreatment of prisoners of war. After World War II, twenty-two Nazi leaders were tried at Nuremberg by the victorious Allies, and twelve were sentenced to death for war crimes. (See Nuremberg trials.)

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.