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criminal Line breaks: crim|inal
Pronunciation: /ˈkrɪmɪn(ə)l/

Definition of criminal in English:

noun

A person who has committed a crime: these men are dangerous criminals
More example sentences
  • One of the uses of capital punishment is to deter other criminals from committing more crimes.
  • Most heroin users were criminals who committed crimes before they ever used drugs.
  • A threat as harsh as death to all that commit a serious crime would deter some criminals.
Synonyms
young offender, juvenile delinquent;
felon, thief, robber, armed robber, burglar, housebreaker, shoplifter, mugger, rapist, fraudster, swindler, racketeer, gunman, gangster, outlaw, bandit, terrorist, bioterrorist, narcoterrorist, ecoterrorist, cyberterrorist, agroterrorist;
in Japanyakuza
informalcrook, con, jailbird, (old) lag, lifer, baddy
North American informalyardbird, yegg
Australian informalcrim
South African informallighty
West Indian informaltief
British rhyming slangtea leaf
informal, , datedcracksman
archaicmiscreant, trespasser, trusty, transport

adjective

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1Relating to crime: he is charged with conspiracy to commit criminal damage
More example sentences
  • The crimes include shoplifting, assault, public order offences, theft and criminal damage.
  • After the verdict, he revealed that Bailey had a long record for theft, criminal damage and car crime.
  • He faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison for each of the spamming and criminal conspiracy offences.
Synonyms
1.1 Law Relating to crime as opposed to civil matters: a criminal court
More example sentences
  • Should the rules for disclosure be different for civil and criminal matters?
  • The principles applied by the civil / criminal court are sound and based on experience and aim at doing justice.
  • It is important to note, however, that the right covers civil as well as criminal litigation.
2 informal (Of an action or situation) deplorable and shocking: he may never fulfil his potential, and that would be a criminal waste
Synonyms
senseless, foolish, ridiculous, outrageous, monstrous, shocking, scandalous;
wicked, sinful, immoral, iniquitous
rareegregious

Origin

Late Middle English (as an adjective): from late Latin criminalis, from Latin crimen, crimin- (see crime).

Words that rhyme with criminal

liminal, subliminal

Definition of criminal in:

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