Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An act committed in violation of law where the consequence of conviction by a court is punishment, especially where the punishment is a serious one such as imprisonment.
  • noun Unlawful activity.
  • noun A serious offense, especially one in violation of morality.
  • noun An unjust, senseless, or disgraceful act or condition.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun 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.
  • noun Any great wickedness or wrong-doing; iniquity; wrong.
  • noun 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Any violation of law, either divine or human; an omission of a duty commanded, or the commission of an act forbidden by law.
  • noun 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.
  • noun Any great wickedness or sin; iniquity.
  • noun obsolete That which occasion crime.
  • noun a crime punishable with death.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin crīmen; see krei- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin crimen from cernere.

Examples

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  • What is the meaning of C.R.I.M.E.?

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    August 12, 2007