Definition of


  1. (noun, person) someone who has committed a crime or has been legally convicted of a crime
  2. (adj, all) guilty of crime or serious offense
  3. (adj, all) involving or being or having the nature of a crime
    criminal abuse
    felonious intent
  4. (adj, all) bringing or deserving severe rebuke or censure
    a deplorable act of violence
    adultery is as reprehensible for a husband as for a wife

via WordNet, Princeton University

Origin of the word Criminal

  1. early 15c. (adj.), from Fr. criminel (11c.), from L. criminalis, from L. crimen (gen. criminis); see crime, preserving the Latin -n-. As a noun, from 1620s. Criminal law (or criminal justice) distinguished from civil in English at least since late 15c. more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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