Definitions

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

  • n. Law One who has committed a felony.
  • n. Archaic An evil person.
  • adj. Archaic Evil; cruel.
  • n. A painful purulent infection at the end of a finger or toe in the area surrounding the nail. Also called whitlow.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person who has committed a felony.
  • n. A person who has been tried and convicted of a felony.
  • n. A bacterial infection of the pad at the end of a finger or toe.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Characteristic of a felon; malignant; fierce; malicious; cruel; traitorous; disloyal.
  • n. A person who has committed a felony.
  • n. A person guilty or capable of heinous crime.
  • n. A kind of whitlow; a painful imflammation of the periosteum of a finger, usually of the last joint.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A wicked person; a cruel, fierce person; one guilty of heinous crimes.
  • n. In law, a person who has committed a felony. The term is not applicable after legal punishment has been completed.
  • n. Felony.
  • n. Synonyms Criminal, convict, malefactor, culprit, outlaw.
  • Wicked; malignant; malicious; treacherous; proceeding from a depraved heart.
  • Obtained by felony or crime; of goods, stolen.
  • Wretched; forlorn.
  • n. In medicine:
  • n. An acute and painful inflammation of the deeper tissues of the finger or toe, especially of the distal phalanx, generally seated near the nail; paronychia; whitlow.
  • n. A sort of inflammation in quadrupeds, similar to whitlow in man.

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

  • n. someone who has committed a crime or has been legally convicted of a crime
  • n. a purulent infection at the end of a finger or toe in the area surrounding the nail

Etymologies

Middle English feloun, from Old French felon, wicked, a wicked person, from Medieval Latin fellō, fellōn-, possibly of Germanic origin.
Middle English feloun, probably from Latin fel, gall, bile.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English felun, feloun, from Anglo-Norman felun ("traitor, wretch"), from Old Low Franconian *felo (“wicked person”), from Proto-Germanic *fillô, *filjô (“flayer, whipper, scoundrel”), from Proto-Germanic *faliz, *felaz (“cruel, evil”) (compare English fell ("fierce"), Middle High German vālant ("imp")), related to *fellanan (compare Dutch villen, German fillen ("to whip, beat"), both from Proto-Indo-European *pelh₂- (“to stir, move, swing”) (compare Old Irish adellaim 'I seek', diellaim 'I yield', Umbrian pelsatu 'to overcome, conquer', Latin pellere ("to drive, beat"), Latvian lijuôs, plītiês ("to force, impose"), Ancient Greek πέλας (pélas, "near"), πίλναμαι (pílnamai, "I approach"), Old Armenian հալածեմ (halacem, "I pursue"). (Wiktionary)
Probably from Latin fel. (Wiktionary)

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