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

  • intransitive verb Law To commit an unlawful injury to the person, property, or rights of another, with actual or implied force or violence, especially to enter onto another's land wrongfully.
  • intransitive verb To infringe on the privacy, time, or attention of another.
  • intransitive verb To commit an offense or a sin; transgress or err.
  • noun The act of trespassing.
  • noun A suit brought for trespassing.
  • noun An intrusion or infringement on another.
  • noun The transgression of a moral or social law, code, or duty. synonym: breach.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Unlawful or forbidden entrance or passage; offensive intrusion of bodily presence. See 3 .
  • noun An aggressive or active offense against law or morality; the commission of any wrongful or improper act; an offense; a sin: as, a trespass against propriety.
  • noun In law, in a general sense, any transgression not amounting to felony or misprision of felony.
  • noun An injury to property by one who has no right whatever to its possession or use: technically called trespass to property. In this sense it equally implies force, but relates to property only, and contradistinguishes the wrong from a conversion or embezzlement by a bailee or other person having already a rightful possession.
  • noun Synonyms and Transgression, Wrong, etc. (see crime), breach, infringement, infraction, encroachment.
  • To pass beyond a limit or boundary; hence, to depart from life; die.
  • To make entry or passage without right or permission; go unlawfully or unwarrantably; encroach by bodily presence; with on or upon: as, to trespass upon another's land or premises.
  • To make an improper inroad upon a person's presence or rights; intrude aggressively or offensively in relation to something: with on or upon.
  • To commit an aggressive offense; transgress in some active manner; offend; sin: with against: as, to trespass against the laws of God and man. See trespass, n.
  • To give offense: with to.
  • Synonyms and Trespass upon, Encroach upon, Intrench upon, Trench upon, Infringe upon, Intrude upon, Transgress. Trespass upon, though figurative, expresses generally the idea common to these words, that of unauthorized, improper, or undesirable coming upon ground not one's own. The order is essentially that of strength, and there is a corresponding increase in the presumption that the offense is committed knowingly. To trespass upon another's rights is literally to step or pass across the line of demarcation between his rights and ours. To encroach upon anything is to creep upon it to some extent, and often implies moving by stealth or by imperceptible degrees and occupying or keeping what one thus takes: the ocean may thus be said to encroach upon the land by wearing it away. To intrench upon, or latterly more often trench upon, is to cut into as a trench is lengthened or widened; it does not especially suggest, as does enroach upon, either slowness or stealth. Infringe or infringe upon means a breaking into; hence it is a much stronger word than those that precede it. Transgress is stronger and plainer still, meaning to walk across the boundary, as of another's rights. Intrude upon suggests especially that one is unwelcome, and goes where regard for others' rights, as of privacy, or the sense of shame, should forbid him to press in.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Any injury or offence done to another.
  • noun Any voluntary transgression of the moral law; any violation of a known rule of duty; sin.
  • noun An unlawful act committed with force and violence (vi et armis) on the person, property, or relative rights of another.
  • noun An action for injuries accompanied with force.
  • noun (Jewish Antiq.) an offering in expiation of a trespass.
  • noun (Law) See Action on the case, under Case.
  • intransitive verb obsolete To pass beyond a limit or boundary; hence, to depart; to go.
  • intransitive verb (Law) To commit a trespass; esp., to enter unlawfully upon the land of another.
  • intransitive verb To go too far; to put any one to inconvenience by demand or importunity; to intrude.
  • intransitive verb To commit any offense, or to do any act that injures or annoys another; to violate any rule of rectitude, to the injury of another; hence, in a moral sense, to transgress voluntarily any divine law or command; to violate any known rule of duty; to sin; -- often followed by against.

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

  • noun law Any of various torts involving interference to another's enjoyment of his property, especially the act of being present on another's land without lawful excuse.
  • verb intransitive To commit an offence; to sin.
  • verb transitive, obsolete To offend against, to wrong (someone).
  • verb law To enter someone else's property illegally.

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

  • verb break the law
  • verb commit a sin; violate a law of God or a moral law
  • noun a wrongful interference with the possession of property (personal property as well as realty), or the action instituted to recover damages
  • verb enter unlawfully on someone's property
  • verb pass beyond (limits or boundaries)
  • verb make excessive use of
  • noun entry to another's property without right or permission


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

[Middle English trespassen, from Old French trespasser : tres-, over (from Latin trāns-; see trans–) + passer, to pass; see pass.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Verb: From Old French trespasser ("to go across or over, transgress"), from tres- ("across, over") + passer ("to pass").


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