9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[in-frinj] /ɪnˈfrɪndʒ/
verb (used with object), infringed, infringing.
to commit a breach or infraction of; violate or transgress:
to infringe a copyright; to infringe a rule.
verb (used without object), infringed, infringing.
to encroach or trespass (usually followed by on or upon):
Don't infringe on his privacy.
Origin of infringe
1525-35; < Latin infringere to break, weaken, equivalent to in- in-2 + -fringere, combining form of frangere to break
Related forms
infringer, noun
uninfringed, adjective
Can be confused
infringe, impinge.
1. break, disobey. 2. poach. See trespass. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for infringed
  • Packed tightly together, the penguins pecked at neighbors that infringed upon their territory.
  • She too claims her right to a family life has been infringed.
  • Every one of them is extensively on record: the people's right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
  • The record companies sued, believing that people who copied songs onto media players infringed their copyrights.
  • Too often a rush to judgment has infringed on those rights.
  • Also, if civil liberties are being infringed it is a matter of civil liberties.
  • If that right is to be infringed, there must be a significant and overriding reason.
  • The relentless engine of natural selection should have eliminated any genes that infringed on them.
  • The policy followed a number of complaints from fliers who said their personal space was being infringed upon.
  • We are all equal under the law and pursuit of happiness should not be infringed on in any way.
British Dictionary definitions for infringed


(transitive) to violate or break (a law, an agreement, etc)
(intransitive; foll by on or upon) to encroach or trespass
Derived Forms
infringement, noun
infringer, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin infringere to break off, from frangere to break
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 infringed



mid-15c., enfrangen, "to violate," from Latin infringere "to damage, break off, break, bruise," from in- "in" (see in- (2)) + frangere "to break" (see fraction). Meaning of "encroach" first recorded c.1760. Related: Infringed; infringing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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