Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?


[krahym] /kraɪm/
an action or an instance of negligence that is deemed injurious to the public welfare or morals or to the interests of the state and that is legally prohibited.
criminal activity and those engaged in it:
to fight crime.
the habitual or frequent commission of crimes:
a life of crime.
any offense, serious wrongdoing, or sin.
a foolish, senseless, or shameful act:
It's a crime to let that beautiful garden go to ruin.
1200-50; Middle English < Anglo-French, Old French < Latin crīmin- (stem of crīmen) charge, crime
Related forms
crimeless, adjective
crimelessness, noun
anticrime, adjective
supercrime, noun
1. wrong; misdemeanor, tort, felony. 1, 4. Crime, offense, sin agree in meaning a breaking of law. Crime usually means any serious violation of human laws: the crime of treason or robbery. Offense is used of an infraction of either human or divine law, and does not necessarily mean a serious one: an offense leading to a jail sentence; an offense against morals. Sin means a breaking of moral or divine law: the sins of greed and lust. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for crime
  • Finally, no genetic syndrome can account for major fluctuations in crime rates across time and distance.
  • The police are supposed to reduce fear of crime as well as crime.
  • Confessing to a crime usually is not enough to throw you behind bars.
  • It started out as a program to collect and represent data on crime scenes.
  • White-collar crime is often punished less harshly than other crimes.
  • Many cities and communities around the world now try to get on top of anti-social behaviour as a way of deterring crime.
  • The crime scene had shown a horrific act but carried no physical traces at all of the defendants.
  • They spent long hours together that winter, discussing the crime and planning its details.
  • The renowned playwright and author on the idea of crime.
  • My crime has been to publicly disclose their corruption and financial mismanagement.
British Dictionary definitions for crime


an act or omission prohibited and punished by law
  1. unlawful acts in general: a wave of crime
  2. (as modifier): crime wave
an evil act
(informal) something to be regretted: it is a crime that he died young
Word Origin
C14: from Old French, from Latin crīmen verdict, accusation, crime
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for crime

mid-13c., "sinfulness," from Old French crimne (12c., Modern French crime), from Latin crimen (genitive criminis) "charge, indictment, accusation; crime, fault, offense," perhaps from cernere "to decide, to sift" (see crisis). But Klein (citing Brugmann) rejects this and suggests *cri-men, which originally would have been "cry of distress" (Tucker also suggests a root in "cry" words and refers to English plaint, plaintiff, etc.). Meaning "offense punishable by law" is from late 14c. The Latin word is glossed in Old English by facen, also "deceit, fraud, treachery." Crime wave first attested 1893, American English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for crime


Related Terms

copycat crime

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for crime

three classifications of criminal offense that are central to the administration of justice in many Roman- and civil-law countries (for distinctions in Anglo-American law covering analogous offenses, see felony and misdemeanour). Crimes in French law are the most serious offenses, punishable by death or prolonged imprisonment. A delit is any offense punishable by a short prison sentence, usually from one to five years, or a fine. Contraventions are minor offenses.

Learn more about crime with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for crime

All English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for crime

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with crime

Nearby words for crime