crim|i|nal1 [ `krımınl ] noun count *
someone who has committed a crime:
The system is designed to prevent criminals from reoffending.
a convicted criminal (=one who has been judged guilty in a court of law): Convicted criminals should not profit from publicizing their crimes.
a hardened criminal (=someone who has committed many crimes): Most of the offenders are not hardened criminals.
crim|i|nal 2 [ `krımınl ] adjective ***
1. ) usually before noun relating to illegal acts:
The book examines the causes of criminal behavior.
a criminal offense/act: It is a criminal offense to threaten someone with violence.
a ) only before noun relating to parts of the legal system that deal with crime:
Police are conducting a criminal investigation into his business affairs.
the criminal justice system
criminal charges (=official statements saying that someone is accused of committing a crime): You could face criminal charges.
criminal proceedings (=the process of examining a crime in a court of law): There is not enough evidence to start criminal proceedings against him.
b ) only before noun used about people who often commit crimes:
the criminal element in society
2. ) bad, wrong, or unfair in a way that makes you angry:
It's criminal the way they treat their animals.
That's a criminal waste of resources.

Usage of the words and phrases in modern English. 2013.

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Criminal — Crim i*nal (kr?m ? nal), a. [L. criminalis, fr. crimen: cf. F. criminel. See {Crime}.] 1. Guilty of crime or sin. [1913 Webster] The neglect of any of the relative duties renders us criminal in the sight of God. Rogers. [1913 Webster] 2.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • criminal — n Criminal, felon, convict, malefactor, culprit, delinquent mean, in common, one guilty of a transgression or an offense especially against the law. Criminal designates one who commits some serious violation of the law, of public trust, or of… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • criminal — (Del lat. criminālis). 1. adj. Perteneciente o relativo al crimen o que de él toma origen. 2. Dicho de una ley, de un instituto o de una acción: Destinado a perseguir y castigar los crímenes o delitos. 3. Que ha cometido o procurado cometer un… …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • Criminal — Crimināl, adj. et adv. aus dem Lat. criminalis, welches aber nur in einigen Zusammensetzungen üblich ist. Das Criminal Gericht, ein Gericht, welches die Verbrechen der Übelthäter untersucht, im Gegensatze der Civil oder bürgerlichen Gerichte, das …   Grammatisch-kritisches Wörterbuch der Hochdeutschen Mundart

  • criminal — early 15c. (adj.), from M.Fr. criminel (11c.), from L. criminalis pertaining to crime, from crimen (gen. criminis); see CRIME (Cf. crime). Preserves the Latin n . As a noun, from 1620s. Criminal law (or criminal justice) distinguished from civil… …   Etymology dictionary

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  • criminal — [adj] lawless, felonious bent, caught, corrupt, crooked, culpable, deplorable, dirty, heavy, hung up*, illegal, illegitimate, illicit, immoral, indictable, iniquitous, nefarious, off base*, out of line*, peccant, racket, scandalous, senseless,… …   New thesaurus

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