criminalcriminal2 ●●● W3 noun [countable] SCCsomeone who is involved in illegal activities or has been proved guilty of a crime → offender Police have described the man as a violent and dangerous criminal. a convicted criminal (=someone who has been found guilty of a crime) The new law will ensure that habitual criminals (=criminals who commit crimes repeatedly) receive tougher punishments than first-time offenders. Teenagers should not be sent to prison to mix with hardened criminals (=criminals who have committed and will continue to commit a lot of crimes).THESAURUScriminal someone who is involved in illegal activities or has been proved guilty of a crime. Criminal is used especially about someone who often does things that are illegalCriminals are stealing people's credit card details off the Internet.He is one of the most wanted criminals in the United States.offender someone who breaks the lawThe courts should impose tougher punishments on offenders. a special prison for young offenderscrook informal a dishonest person, especially one who steals money and who you cannot trustSome politicians are crooks, but not all of them.They're just a bunch of crooks.felon law especially American English someone who has committed a serious crimeConvicted felons should not be allowed to profit from their crimes.the culprit the person who has done something wrong or illegalThe culprits were never found.If I ever catch the culprit, he or she is in big trouble.The culprits were just six years old.delinquent a young person who behaves badly and is likely to commit crimes – used especially in the phrase juvenile delinquentHe later worked with juvenile delinquents in a Florida youth services program. accomplice someone who helps a criminal to do something illegalPolice believe the murderer must have had an accomplice.different types of criminalthief someone who steals thingsCar thieves have been working in the area.The thieves stole over £5,000 worth of jewellery. robber someone who steals money or valuable things from a bank, shop etc – used especially when someone sees the person who is stealinga masked robber armed with a shotgunThey were the most successful bank robbers in US history.burglar someone who goes into people’s homes in order to stealThe burglars broke in through a window.shoplifter someone who takes things from shops without paying for themThe cameras have helped the store catch several shoplifters.pickpocket someone who steals things from people’s pockets, especially in a crowdA sign warned that pickpockets were active in the station.conman/fraudster someone who deceives people in order to get money or thingsConmen tricked the woman into giving them her savings, as an ‘investment’.forger someone who illegally copies official documents, money, artworks etca forger who fooled museum curatorscounterfeiter someone who illegally copies money, official documents, or goodsCounterfeiters in Colombia are printing almost perfect dollar bills.pirate someone who illegally copies and sells another person’s workDVD piratesmugger someone who attacks and robs people in public placesMuggers took his money and mobile phone.murderer someone who deliberately kills someone elseHis murderer was sentenced to life imprisonment. the murderer of civil rights activist Medgar Evers He is a mass murderer (=someone who kills a large number of people).serial killer someone who kills several people, one after the other over a period of time, in a similar wayShipman was a trusted family doctor who became Britain's worst serial killer. rapist someone who forces someone else to have sexSome rapists drug their victims so that they become unconscious.sex offender someone who is guilty of a crime related to sexToo many sex offenders are released from prison early.vandal someone who deliberately damages public propertyVandals broke most of the school’s windows.arsonist someone who deliberately sets fire to a buildingThe warehouse fire may have been the work of an arsonist.
Examples from the Corpuscriminal• They liked him when he was disgusting and filthy and a criminal, and he acted it up.• He had never been inside a police station, had never met a private detective, had never spoken to a criminal.• Sending children to adult prisons just means they learn to be 'better' criminals from the adult inmates.• The British government maintains that Donavan is a common criminal who should be brought to justice.• Grimes is considered to be one of the most dangerous criminals in the US.• Besides, a successful professional criminal with a Legal Aid lawyer is like a billionaire collecting Social Security.• It is alleged that criminals have targeted the smaller, idyllic islands.• Unfortunately the innocents get hurt, never the criminals behind the scenes.• If the police arm themselves, the criminals will stay a step ahead by obtaining bigger and better weapons.convicted criminal• It must never be thought that a convicted criminal can buy his way out of imprisonment.• In some cases homes were being run by convicted criminals.• Fred Goldman has become public affairs director for a Washington-based organization called Safe Streets, which seeks tougher punishment for convicted criminals.• The Supreme Court ruled in 1990 that convicted criminals can avoid making restitution by declaring bankruptcy.• Florida paroles first-time convicted criminals into the care of the Salvation Army-25,000 of them at any one time.• The background of long-firm fraudsters is far more varied than is found with convicted criminals as a whole.