|1.||an act or omission prohibited and punished by law|
|2.||a. unlawful acts in general: a wave of crime|
|b. (as modifier): crime wave|
|3.||an evil act|
|4.||informal something to be regretted: it is a crime that he died young|
|[C14: from Old French, from Latin crīmen verdict, accusation, 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 Britannica.com.