Definition of criminally in US English:



  • 1In a manner that is contrary to or forbidden by criminal law.

    ‘there was no evidence the firms had acted criminally’
    • ‘He grew up in the grounds of this institution, surrounded by the criminally insane.’
    • ‘Someone concerned about a partner's behaviour can check if they've acted criminally in the past.’
    • ‘Whoever physically commits a crime, either alone or jointly with other persons, is criminally liable.’
    • ‘The police behaved criminally - they have to be arrested and charged.’
    • ‘If anyone is found to have behaved criminally, they must be prosecuted.’
    • ‘He would surely have kept confidential documents locked in his safe, not in a study shared with someone whom he was criminally defrauding.’
    • ‘Maybe that's because the distributor is indeed acting criminally or negligently.’
    • ‘The likelihood of anyone being held criminally responsible currently seems quite low.’
    • ‘The strain between father and daughter is exacerbated when they end up on opposite sides of a lawsuit against a powerful car manufacturer accused of being criminally negligent.’
    • ‘This sort of crime has in the main been committed by people who were not apparently in other respects criminally minded.’
    1. 1.1Law In a way that relates to crime as opposed to civil matters.
      ‘these offenses may be prosecuted criminally under state law’
      • ‘They will seek justice for their client, whether it's done criminally, civilly, or both.’
      • ‘He is the first local bridge inspector to be criminally charged with attacking a tourist.’
      • ‘He was criminally indicted on Friday on charges of misusing hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations.’
      • ‘The law states children under 10 years old cannot be criminally prosecuted.’
      • ‘He may do something and perhaps he'll be caught and criminally prosecuted.’
  • 2informal as submodifier To a shocking degree.

    ‘one of his most criminally underappreciated films’
    • ‘Although criminally underused, he brings his usual sense of dignity to his role.’
    • ‘Julian pays tribute to a great composer he feels has been criminally neglected.’
    • ‘It was criminally ignored at major award shows, and got a very minimal release throughout the country.’
    • ‘This LP can be criminally hard to find.’
    • ‘It was criminally under-reported upon however.’
    • ‘In fact, it's probably one of the most criminally underrated and misunderstood films of the 1990s.’
    • ‘It was criminally ignored when it came out, but now look at it.’
    • ‘Quite simply, it is one of the most criminally ignored albums of recent history.’
    • ‘Were they criminally stupid and arrogant to have chanced upon such a precious jewel and then thrown it away?’
    • ‘It is another criminally underrated film that has finally garnered the attention it deserves.’