Definition of


  1. (noun, act) (criminal law) an act punishable by law; usually considered an evil act
  2. (noun, act) an evil act not necessarily punishable by law

via WordNet, Princeton University

Origin of the word Crime

  1. mid-13c., from O.Fr. crimne, from L. crimen (gen. criminis) "charge, indictment, offense," from cernere "to decide, to sift" (see crisis). But Klein rejects this and suggests *cri-men, which would originally have been "cry of distress." The L. word is glossed in O.E. by facen, also "deceit, fraud, treachery." Crime wave first att… more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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