Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An act committed or omitted in violation of a law forbidding or commanding it and for which punishment is imposed upon conviction.
  • n. Unlawful activity: statistics relating to violent crime.
  • n. A serious offense, especially one in violation of morality.
  • n. An unjust, senseless, or disgraceful act or condition: It's a crime to squander our country's natural resources.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A specific act committed in violation of the law.
  • n. The practice or habit of committing crimes.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any violation of law, either divine or human; an omission of a duty commanded, or the commission of an act forbidden by law.
  • n. Gross violation of human law, in distinction from a misdemeanor or trespass, or other slight offense. Hence, also, any aggravated offense against morality or the public welfare; any outrage or great wrong.
  • n. Any great wickedness or sin; iniquity.
  • n. That which occasion crime.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An act or omission which the law punishes in the name and on behalf of the state, whether because expressly forbidden by statute or because so injurious to the public as to require punishment on grounds of public policy; an offense punishable by law.
  • n. Any great wickedness or wrong-doing; iniquity; wrong.
  • n. Synonyms Wrong, Sin, Crime, Vice, Iniquity, Transgression, Trespass, Delinquency. (See offense.) Wrong is the opposite of right; a wrong is an infringement of the rights of another. Sin is wrong viewed as infraction of the laws of God. Crime is the breaking of the laws of man, specifically of laws forbidding things that are mischievous to individuals or to society, as theft, forgery, murder. Vice is a matter of habit in doing that which is low and degrading. Iniquity is great wrong. Transgression is an act of “stepping across,” as trespass is an act of “passing across,” the boundary of private rights, legal requirements, or general right. Delinquency is failure to comply with the demands of the law or of duty. See criminal.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (criminal law) an act punishable by law; usually considered an evil act
  • n. an evil act not necessarily punishable by law

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, from Latin crīmen; see krei- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin crimen from cernere. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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