Definition of criminal in English:

criminal

noun

  • A person who has committed a crime.

    ‘these men are dangerous criminals’
    • ‘The idea was to deter criminals with the ever-present threat of death for their crimes.’
    • ‘We join forces with others to reduce crime, the number of criminals and victims.’
    • ‘They were just thugs and criminals who have now seen that justice can and will be done.’
    • ‘This is the most horrible crime in humanity that's been committed by those criminals.’
    • ‘They are tough on crime and criminals but what they can't contemplate are the causes.’
    • ‘Of course they can be dangerous if used by criminals or the criminally irresponsible.’
    • ‘Crime is flexible and criminals would soon find a way of dealing with greater surveillance.’
    • ‘They are anxious not to upset anybody these days, even thugs and criminals.’
    • ‘There are few offenders more despicable than criminals who prey on the elderly and infirm.’
    • ‘The old idea of criminals and drug dealers is not the way that these people do business anymore.’
    • ‘As I said before these people are criminals and murderers and should be treated as such.’
    • ‘One of the uses of capital punishment is to deter other criminals from committing more crimes.’
    • ‘Nor is it a police action against a random assortment of criminals or criminal gangs.’
    • ‘A threat as harsh as death to all that commit a serious crime would deter some criminals.’
    • ‘She said that if the worst crime hot spots were being tackled the criminals moved further afield.’
    • ‘They all folded up on themselves and became a puzzle of incongruous crimes and criminals.’
    • ‘Why do we single out sex offenders as necessarily different from other criminals?’
    • ‘People are fed up that when the police do catch criminals the punishment never seems to fit the crime.’
    • ‘I would also say that criminals who commit the most severe crimes lose their right to live.’
    • ‘Most heroin users were criminals who committed crimes before they ever used drugs.’
    lawbreaker, offender, villain, delinquent, malefactor, culprit, wrongdoer, transgressor, sinner
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adjective

  • 1Relating to crime.

    ‘they are charged with conspiracy to commit criminal damage’
    ‘a criminal offence’
    • ‘When he broke into Ray's house, Martin could be committing the crimes of burglary and criminal damage.’
    • ‘A police spokesman said the dozen were being held in relation to suspected offences of assault and criminal damage.’
    • ‘Previously we have addressed burglary, criminal damage and speeding vehicles.’
    • ‘She was subject to a community rehabilitation order imposed just six weeks earlier for criminal damage offences.’
    • ‘If that is the case then it is a criminal offence and a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.’
    • ‘They have admitted conspiracy to commit criminal damage to motor vehicles.’
    • ‘Sentences handed out would be geared to local crime priorities such as graffiti, criminal damage and car crime.’
    • ‘She had previously pleaded guilty to several offences, including shoplifting and criminal damage to a taxi.’
    • ‘Claire had been arrested and bailed earlier on the day of her death for a previous criminal damage offence on a bus stop in Bolton.’
    • ‘Since the New Year police have received several reports of burglaries and criminal damage.’
    • ‘Making homosexuality illegal or a criminal offence does not make it disappear.’
    • ‘Reports of criminal damage and persistent vandalism were also relayed to councillors.’
    • ‘The community does not report offences of criminal damage to police as they apparently show little interest.’
    • ‘The barrister also says that his actions could amount to conspiracy to commit criminal damage.’
    • ‘The crimes include shoplifting, assault, public order offences, theft and criminal damage.’
    • ‘He called on the public to report any instances of criminal damage or vandalism.’
    • ‘Burglary, theft, criminal damage and robbery showed a seven per cent reduction.’
    • ‘After the verdict, he revealed that Bailey had a long record for theft, criminal damage and car crime.’
    • ‘He faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison for each of the spamming and criminal conspiracy offences.’
    • ‘This has been attributed to a rise in criminal damages offences which made up a quarter of all recorded crime.’
    unlawful, illegal, against the law, illicit, illegitimate, lawbreaking, lawless, felonious, delinquent, culpable, villainous, nefarious, corrupt, fraudulent
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    1. 1.1Law Relating to crime as opposed to civil matters.
      ‘a criminal court’
      • ‘In the criminal court, if matters are not heard within 18 months, they are thrown out.’
      • ‘The normal rule is that the Crown does not ask for nor pay the costs unless statute provides for it in criminal matters.’
      • ‘The principles applied by the civil / criminal court are sound and based on experience and aim at doing justice.’
      • ‘He said that filing a civil claim during a criminal trial was standard court procedure.’
      • ‘Whether it be a criminal trial or a civil matter, it is the way things look.’
      • ‘Is there some statutory provision in this State that governs costs in criminal matters?’
      • ‘These offices are civil judges, criminal judges and administrative judges.’
      • ‘The legal system is based on the French model, with both civil and criminal courts.’
      • ‘Can disciplinary proceedings be taken for the same offence after an acquittal in the criminal courts?’
      • ‘It is also worth noting that each of these sources of law can provide for both civil and criminal rules.’
      • ‘It is important to note, however, that the right covers civil as well as criminal litigation.’
      • ‘So just what is this court that can produce results at a rate civil and criminal courts could only marvel at?’
      • ‘It authorizes the court to issue an order, backed by civil and criminal sanctions, for a monthly allowance.’
      • ‘He was a great judge in criminal matters and he knew about Parliament.’
      • ‘The Court specifically set out to deal with criminal matters even though it was an extradition case.’
      • ‘The police say they are still ‘trying to sort out whether it is a criminal or a civil matter’.’
      • ‘Two cases brought before the criminal appeal court were lost yesterday.’
      • ‘The order is not a sentence, but a civil restriction which criminal courts can now grant when passing sentence.’
      • ‘Should the rules for disclosure be different for civil and criminal matters?’
      • ‘The duty may be enforced by either civil or criminal proceedings against the parents.’
  • 2informal (of an action or situation) deplorable and shocking.

    ‘he may never fulfil his potential, and that would be a criminal waste’
    deplorable, preposterous, shameful, reprehensible, disgraceful, inexcusable, unforgivable, unpardonable, unacceptable
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Origin

Late Middle English (as an adjective): from late Latin criminalis, from Latin crimen, crimin- (see crime).

Pronunciation

criminal

/ˈkrɪmɪn(ə)l/