Topic: LAW

Date: 1400-1500
Language: French
Origin: criminel, from Late Latin criminalis, from Latin crimen; CRIME


1 adjective
crim‧i‧nal1 S3 W2
1SCC relating to crime:
Experts cannot agree on the causes of criminal behaviour.
I was sure he was involved in some kind of criminal activity.
She has not committed a criminal offence (=a crime).
He was arrested and charged with criminal damage (=damaging someone's property illegally).
The doctor was found guilty of criminal negligence (=not taking enough care to protect people in your work).
2SCL relating to the part of the legal system that is concerned with crime [↪ civil]:
The case will be tried in a criminal court.
We no longer have any faith in the criminal justice system.
The police are investigating the matter, and he may face criminal charges (=he may be officially accused of a crime).
She usually deals with serious criminal cases.
3 wrong, dishonest, and unacceptable:
It seems criminal that teachers are paid so little money.
criminally adverb:
a hospital for the criminally insane
criminality noun [uncountable]

Explore LAW Topic