felony

[fel-uh-nee]
noun, plural felonies. Law.
1.
an offense, as murder or burglary, of graver character than those called misdemeanors, especially those commonly punished in the U.S. by imprisonment for more than a year.
2.
Early English Law. any crime punishable by death or mutilation and forfeiture of lands and goods.

Origin:
1250–1300; Middle English felonie < Anglo-French, Old French: villainy, a felony. See felon1, -y3

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
felony (ˈfɛlənɪ)
 
n , pl -nies
(formerly) a serious crime, such as murder or arson. All distinctions between felony and misdemeanour were abolished in England and Wales in 1967

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

felony
late 13c. as a term in common law, in Anglo-Fr., from O.Fr. felonie (12c.) "wickedness, evil, treachery, perfidy, crime, cruelty, sin," from Gallo-Rom. *fellonia, from fellonem (see felon).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
felony [(fel-uh-nee)]

A grave crime, such as murder, rape, or burglary, that is punishable by death (see capital offense) or imprisonment in a state or federal facility.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Criminal offenses are considered either felonies or misdemeanors.
Drew was charged with three felonies but was ultimately convicted on two lesser
  misdemeanor counts.
On the average, no more than three felonies out of a hundred result in the
  imprisonment of the offender.
Incidents that would be major felonies on the outside often go unreported.
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