9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[fel-uh-nee] /ˈfɛl ə ni/
noun, plural felonies. Law.
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.
Early English Law. any crime punishable by death or mutilation and forfeiture of lands and goods.
Origin of felony
1250-1300; Middle English felonie < Anglo-French, Old French: villainy, a felony. See felon1, -y3 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for felony
  • Children, who had always figured largely in the felony of the age, made a profession of feigning the symptoms of the bewitched.
  • Ordinarily, a first-time offender convicted of a single, nonviolent felony would be spared such a long sentence.
  • In six weeks we've had two felony pleas, another pending and a pipeline full of criminal cases waiting to be made.
  • It is considered bad form to blame people for a catastrophe after it happens, unless someone involved has committed a felony.
  • Three people have been criminally charged and another has pleaded guilty to a felony.
  • The law says any third felony conviction, from shoplifting to car theft, can result in a life sentence.
  • Curry, the state's all-time leading scorer, faces two felony counts each of possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana.
  • Under current law, a first offense is a misdemeanor with a second offense considered a felony.
  • He was charged with a felony in which someone was killed.
  • The vast majority of the murders were not in conjunction with another felony being committed.
British Dictionary definitions for felony


noun (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 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 felony

late 13c. as a term in common law, in Anglo-French, from Old French felonie (12c.) "wickedness, evil, treachery, perfidy, crime, cruelty, sin," from Gallo-Romance *fellonia, from fellonem (see felon).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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felony in Culture
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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