Definition of crime in English:

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Pronunciation: /krīm/


1An action or omission that constitutes an offense that may be prosecuted by the state and is punishable by law: shoplifting was a serious crime
More example sentences
  • Logic is turned upside down and instead of being punished for their crimes of omission they reap their due reward.
  • He said the order had turned the offence of being drunk and disorderly into a crime punishable by up to five years in prison.
  • One cannot just walk away from the scene of the crime without admitting wrongdoing.
offense, unlawful act, illegal act, felony, misdemeanor, misdeed, wrong
informal no-no
1.1Illegal activities: the victims of crime
More example sentences
  • What of course everyone agrees with is that drug dealing and organised crime should be illegal.
  • Crimes such as vandalism, car crime and burglary are an everyday occurrence in Swindon.
  • And surely you agree that crime and illegal immigration are getting out of hand.
lawbreaking, delinquency, wrongdoing, criminality, misconduct, illegality, villainy
informal crookedness
Law  malfeasance
1.2An action or activity that, although not illegal, is considered to be evil, shameful, or wrong: they condemned apartheid as a crime against humanity it’s a crime to keep a creature like Willy in a tank
More example sentences
  • Any activity that takes away these rights is a crime against nature and humanity.
  • To undermine football as happens in certain countries is a deception and a crime against society.
  • As I said it was a crime against humanity so that is what he deserved and that is what the rest of them deserve.
sin, evil, immoral act, wrong, atrocity, abomination, disgrace, outrage


Middle English (in the sense 'wickedness, sin'): via Old French from Latin crimen 'judgment, offense', based on cernere 'to judge'.

  • The early meanings of crime were ‘wickedness’ and ‘sin’. The word comes via Old French from Latin crimen ‘judgement or offence’, which was based on cernere ‘to judge’ also in concern (Late Middle English), recriminate (early 17th century), and discern (Late Middle English). The expression crime doesn't pay was a slogan associated with the 1930s American radio crime series The Shadow, in which it was spoken by the Shadow at the end of each broadcast. It originated earlier, though, and was the title of a silent film in 1912.

Words that rhyme with crime

begrime, Chaim, chime, climb, clime, dime, grime, half-time, I'm, lime, mime, mistime, part-time, prime, rhyme, rime, slime, sublime, sub-prime, thyme, time

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: crime

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