Definition of criminal in English:

criminal

noun

  • A person who has committed a crime.

    ‘these men are dangerous criminals’
    • ‘Nor is it a police action against a random assortment of criminals or criminal gangs.’
    • ‘This is the most horrible crime in humanity that's been committed by those criminals.’
    • ‘The old idea of criminals and drug dealers is not the way that these people do business anymore.’
    • ‘The idea was to deter criminals with the ever-present threat of death for their crimes.’
    • ‘They are tough on crime and criminals but what they can't contemplate are the causes.’
    • ‘People are fed up that when the police do catch criminals the punishment never seems to fit the crime.’
    • ‘Of course they can be dangerous if used by criminals or the criminally irresponsible.’
    • ‘We join forces with others to reduce crime, the number of criminals and victims.’
    • ‘Why do we single out sex offenders as necessarily different from other criminals?’
    • ‘They were just thugs and criminals who have now seen that justice can and will be done.’
    • ‘Most heroin users were criminals who committed crimes before they ever used drugs.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They all folded up on themselves and became a puzzle of incongruous crimes and criminals.’
    • ‘She said that if the worst crime hot spots were being tackled the criminals moved further afield.’
    • ‘They are anxious not to upset anybody these days, even thugs and criminals.’
    • ‘I would also say that criminals who commit the most severe crimes lose their right to live.’
    • ‘A threat as harsh as death to all that commit a serious crime would deter some criminals.’
    • ‘Crime is flexible and criminals would soon find a way of dealing with greater surveillance.’
    • ‘There are few offenders more despicable than criminals who prey on the elderly and infirm.’
    lawbreaker, offender, villain, delinquent, malefactor, culprit, wrongdoer, transgressor, sinner
    young offender, juvenile delinquent
    felon, thief, robber, armed robber, burglar, housebreaker, shoplifter, mugger, rapist, fraudster, swindler, racketeer, gunman, gangster, outlaw, bandit, terrorist, bioterrorist, narcoterrorist, ecoterrorist, cyberterrorist, agroterrorist
    yakuza
    crook, con, jailbird, lifer, baddy
    yardbird, yegg
    crim
    lighty
    tief
    tea leaf
    cracksman
    malfeasant, misfeasor, infractor
    miscreant, trespasser, trusty, transport
    peculator, defalcator
    View synonyms

adjective

  • 1Relating to crime.

    ‘they are charged with conspiracy to commit criminal damage’
    ‘a criminal offense’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The barrister also says that his actions could amount to conspiracy to commit criminal damage.’
    • ‘Reports of criminal damage and persistent vandalism were also relayed to councillors.’
    • ‘Burglary, theft, criminal damage and robbery showed a seven per cent reduction.’
    • ‘She had previously pleaded guilty to several offences, including shoplifting and criminal damage to a taxi.’
    • ‘This has been attributed to a rise in criminal damages offences which made up a quarter of all recorded crime.’
    • ‘Previously we have addressed burglary, criminal damage and speeding vehicles.’
    • ‘After the verdict, he revealed that Bailey had a long record for theft, criminal damage and car crime.’
    • ‘A police spokesman said the dozen were being held in relation to suspected offences of assault and criminal damage.’
    • ‘He faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison for each of the spamming and criminal conspiracy offences.’
    • ‘They have admitted conspiracy to commit criminal damage to motor vehicles.’
    • ‘Since the New Year police have received several reports of burglaries and criminal damage.’
    • ‘Sentences handed out would be geared to local crime priorities such as graffiti, criminal damage and car crime.’
    • ‘He called on the public to report any instances of criminal damage or vandalism.’
    • ‘If that is the case then it is a criminal offence and a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.’
    • ‘When he broke into Ray's house, Martin could be committing the crimes of burglary and criminal damage.’
    • ‘The crimes include shoplifting, assault, public order offences, theft and criminal damage.’
    • ‘She was subject to a community rehabilitation order imposed just six weeks earlier for criminal damage offences.’
    • ‘Making homosexuality illegal or a criminal offence does not make it disappear.’
    • ‘The community does not report offences of criminal damage to police as they apparently show little interest.’
    unlawful, illegal, against the law, illicit, illegitimate, lawbreaking, lawless, felonious, delinquent, culpable, villainous, nefarious, corrupt, fraudulent
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Law
      Relating to crime as opposed to civil matters.
      ‘a criminal court’
      • ‘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’.’
      • ‘The order is not a sentence, but a civil restriction which criminal courts can now grant when passing sentence.’
      • ‘It authorizes the court to issue an order, backed by civil and criminal sanctions, for a monthly allowance.’
      • ‘Should the rules for disclosure be different for civil and criminal matters?’
      • ‘These offices are civil judges, criminal judges and administrative judges.’
      • ‘So just what is this court that can produce results at a rate civil and criminal courts could only marvel at?’
      • ‘He said that filing a civil claim during a criminal trial was standard court procedure.’
      • ‘In the criminal court, if matters are not heard within 18 months, they are thrown out.’
      • ‘The duty may be enforced by either civil or criminal proceedings against the parents.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The normal rule is that the Crown does not ask for nor pay the costs unless statute provides for it in criminal matters.’
      • ‘Is there some statutory provision in this State that governs costs in criminal matters?’
      • ‘Whether it be a criminal trial or a civil matter, it is the way things look.’
      • ‘The legal system is based on the French model, with both civil and criminal courts.’
      • ‘Two cases brought before the criminal appeal court were lost yesterday.’
      • ‘The principles applied by the civil / criminal court are sound and based on experience and aim at doing justice.’
      • ‘He was a great judge in criminal matters and he knew about Parliament.’
      • ‘It is important to note, however, that the right covers civil as well as criminal litigation.’
    2. 1.2informal (of an action or situation) deplorable and shocking.
      ‘he may never fulfill his potential, and that would be a criminal waste’

Origin

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

Pronunciation:

criminal

/ˈkrim(ə)n(ə)l/