Definition of felony in US English:

felony

noun

  • A crime, typically one involving violence, regarded as more serious than a misdemeanor, and usually punishable by imprisonment for more than one year or by death.

    The distinction between felonies and misdemeanors usually depends on the penalties or consequences attaching to the crime. In English common law, felony originally comprised those offenses (murder, wounding, arson, rape, and robbery) for which the penalty included forfeiture of land and goods

    ‘he pleaded guilty to six felonies’
    ‘an accusation of felony’
    • ‘Dealing with felonies, including rape, murder, and assault, often fell to the citizens who witnessed them.’
    • ‘What's the difference between felonies, misdemeanors, and infractions?’
    • ‘One fan will be charged with a felony assault charge for accusations of throwing a chair.’
    • ‘In the great majority of cases in which death ensues as a result of a tort felony has been committed.’
    • ‘So your Honour can see that there was no act done in the course of a different felony which you would need for a felony murder situation.’
    • ‘California requires DNA sampling only from those convicted for violent felonies and some sex crimes.’
    • ‘The 39-year-old singer was booked on a felony charge of assault with a deadly weapon late on Friday.’
    • ‘If convicted on the felony charge, he could lose his right to work in the United States.’
    • ‘If convicted of the felony charge, the woman could face up to five years in jail.’
    • ‘In the US, the vast majority of murders and other felonies are state crimes.’
    • ‘And the schedule is there, so your Honours can see how the felonies and misdemeanours were changed.’
    • ‘Some of these crimes are misdemeanors; others are felonies of various degrees.’
    • ‘That charge could be filed as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances.’
    • ‘There is a considerable historical literature that explores changes in the process of prosecuting both felonies and misdemeanors in England.’
    • ‘Well, in this case, under a felony murder charge, she would be guilty and a jury has found her guilty.’
    • ‘Using a destructive device in a violent crime is a federal felony that carries a mandatory minimum of 30 years in jail.’
    • ‘Now the choice is go to trial on a felony assault charge and hope for an acquittal or plead guilty to a misdemeanor.’
    • ‘The total number of sustained felonies, misdemeanors, and probation violations was computed.’
    • ‘The principal felonies were homicide, rape, theft, burglary, robbery and arson.’
    • ‘If convicted of the felony charges they could face up to five years in jail.’
    crime, lawbreaking, lawlessness, criminality, misconduct, malpractice, corruption, unethical behaviour, immorality, sin, sinfulness, wickedness, badness, evil, vice, iniquity, villainy, delinquency, misbehaviour, mischief, naughtiness
    View synonyms

Origin

Middle English: from Old French felonie, from felon (see felon).

Pronunciation

felony

/ˈfelənē//ˈfɛləni/