Definition of felony in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈfelənē/

noun (plural felonies)

A crime, typically one involving violence, regarded as more serious than a misdemeanor, and usually punishable by imprisonment for more than one year or by death: he pleaded guilty to six felonies an accusation of felony

The distinction between felonies and misdemeanors usually depends on the penalties or consequences attaching to the crime. In English common law, felony originally comprised those offenses (murder, wounding, arson, rape, and robbery) for which the penalty included forfeiture of land and goods.

More example sentences
  • The principal felonies were homicide, rape, theft, burglary, robbery and arson.
  • California requires DNA sampling only from those convicted for violent felonies and some sex crimes.
  • And the schedule is there, so your Honours can see how the felonies and misdemeanours were changed.


Middle English: from Old French felonie, from felon (see felon1).

Words that rhyme with felony

Melanie, miscellany

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: fel·o·ny

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