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[bur-gluh-ree] /ˈbɜr glə ri/
noun, plural burglaries. Criminal Law.
the felony of breaking into and entering the house of another at night with intent to steal, extended by statute to cover the breaking into and entering of any of various buildings, by night or day.
Origin of burglary
1150-1200; Middle English < Anglo-French burglarie; see burglar, -y3
Related forms
antiburglary, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for burglary
  • Ordinary crime such as house burglary and car theft is often accompanied by random violence.
  • He pleaded guilty to three indictments charging burglary.
  • As the economy slows and people lose their jobs, brawling and burglary tend to become more common.
  • Note that in some areas, bump keys count as burglary tools, and possession of one can be a misdemeanor offense.
  • They were there, after all, at the request of a citizen who was afraid a burglary was taking place.
  • It requires less skill than burglary or car theft, and fewer connections and less financial savvy than drug dealing.
  • Often such attacks on white farms are violent, and unnecessarily so for the purposes of burglary.
  • burglary now attracts a mandatory minimum sentence of three years for those convicted of a third offence.
  • If two teenagers team up to rob a grocery store, for example, both may be caught and charged with burglary.
  • Repeated victims of burglary often simply stop reporting them, so they don't get counted.
British Dictionary definitions for burglary


noun (pl) -ries
(English criminal law) the crime of either entering a building as a trespasser with the intention of committing theft, rape, grievous bodily harm, or damage, or, having entered as a trespasser, of committing one or more of these offences
Derived Forms
burglarious (bɜːˈɡlɛərɪəs) adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for burglary

c.1200, Anglo-Latin burglaria (see burglar).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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