Definitions

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

  • n. Law One of several grave crimes, such as murder, rape, or burglary, punishable by a more stringent sentence than that given for a misdemeanor.
  • n. Law Any of several crimes in early English law that were punishable by forfeiture of land or goods and by possible loss of life or a bodily part.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A serious criminal offense, which, under federal law, is punishable by death or imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An act on the part of the vassal which cost him his fee by forfeiture.
  • n. An offense which occasions a total forfeiture either lands or goods, or both, at the common law, and to which capital or other punishment may be added, according to the degree of guilt.
  • n. A heinous crime; especially, a crime punishable by death or imprisonment.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A wicked, foul, or treacherous act; wickedness.
  • n. Specifically
  • n. In law:
  • n. At common law, a crime which occasions the forfeiture of land or goods, or both, and for which other punishment may be added according to the degree of guilt. It thus strictly includes treason, although the words are often used as opposed to each other.
  • n. A high crime; the highest of the principal classes into which crimes are divided by statute; a grave crime exceeding the grade of misdemeanor.
  • n. A body of felons.

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

  • n. a serious crime (such as murder or arson)

Etymologies

Old French felonie ("evil, immoral deed"), from felon ("evildoer"). Ultimately of Germanic origin. More at felon. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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