felon

1 [fel-uhn]

Origin:
1250–1300; Middle English fel(o)un wicked < Anglo-French; Old French fel (nominative), felun (oblique) wicked person, traitor, perhaps < Old Low Franconian *fillo, noun corresponding to Old Saxon fillian to ill-treat, whip, Middle Dutch villen to flay, Old High German fillen to beat, whip; cf. fell3

Dictionary.com Unabridged

felon

2 [fel-uhn]
noun
an acute and painful inflammation of the deeper tissues of a finger or toe, usually near the nail: a form of whitlow.

Origin:
1375–1425; late Middle English felo(u)n < Medieval Latin fellōn- (stem of fellō) scrofulous tumor, of uncertain origin

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To felon
Collins
World English Dictionary
felon1 (ˈfɛlən)
 
n
1.  criminal law (formerly) a person who has committed a felony
2.  obsolete a wicked person
 
adj
3.  archaic, poetic or evil; cruel
 
[C13: from Old French: villain, from Medieval Latin fellō, of uncertain origin]

felon2 (ˈfɛlən)
 
n
a purulent inflammation of the end joint of a finger, sometimes affecting the bone
 
[C12: from Medieval Latin fellō sore, perhaps from Latin fel poison]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Etymonline
Word Origin & History

felon
c.1300, from O.Fr. felon "evil-doer, scoundrel, traitor, rebel, the Devil," from M.L. fellonem "evil-doer," of uncertain origin, perhaps from Frank. *fillo, *filljo "person who whips or beats, scourger" (cf. O.H.G. fillen "to whip"); or from L. fel "gall, poison," on the notion of "one full of bitterness."
Another theory (advanced by Professor R. Atkinson of Dublin) traces it to L. fellare "to suck" (see fecund), which had an obscene secondary meaning in classical L. (well-known to readers of Martial and Catullus), which would make a felon etymologically a "cock-sucker." OED inclines toward the "gall" explanation, but finds Atkinson's "most plausible" of the others.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

felon fel·on (fěl'ən)
n.
A purulent infection or abscess involving the bulbous distal end of a finger. Also called whitlow.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
My best friend turned out to be a felon later in life.
The two-time convicted felon stole the name, foes say.
Piazza also was charged with possession of firearms by a convicted felon.
He's picked up temporary and day-labor work, but has not landed a steady job
  due to the rough economy and his ex-felon status.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature
FAVORITES
RECENT

;