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

  • n. The crime of maliciously, voluntarily, and willfully setting fire to the building, buildings, or other property of another or of burning one's own property for an improper purpose, as to collect insurance.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The crime of setting a fire with intent to cause damage.
  • n. An instance of such a crime.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The malicious burning of a dwelling house or outhouse of another man, which by the common law is felony; the malicious and voluntary firing of a building or ship.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In law, the malicious burning of a dwelling-house or outhouse of another.
  • n. A saddlebow; sometimes, a saddle.

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

  • n. malicious burning to destroy property


Anglo-Norman, from Late Latin ārsiō, ārsiōn-, from Latin ārsus, past participle of ārdēre, to burn; see as- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Anglo-Norman and Old French arson, from the verb ardoir, from Latin ardeō. Compare ardent (Wiktionary)



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  • Mark put this on the list because his house was the victim of a conflagration.

    November 30, 2007