Definition of burglary in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈbəːɡləri/

noun (plural burglaries)

[mass noun]
Illegal entry of a building with intent to commit a crime, especially theft: a two-year sentence for burglary [count noun]: a series of burglaries
More example sentences
  • Drink is also a significant factor in street crime, burglaries and theft.
  • Other crimes such as burglaries and thefts from cars had decreased, he added.
  • He also faces charges of conspiracy to commit burglaries and steal motor vehicles in West Yorkshire.
housebreaking, breaking and entering, breaking in, forced entry, theft, thieving, stealing, robbery, robbing, larceny, thievery, pilfering, pilferage, looting;
informal filching
break-in, theft, robbery, raid, hold-up
informal snatch, smash and grab
North American informal heist, stick-up

In English law before 1968, burglary was a crime under statute and in common law; since 1968 it has been a statutory crime only. See also housebreaking.


Early 16th century: from legal French burglarie, from burgler (see burglar).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: burg|lary

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