Meaning of “crime” in the English Dictionary

"crime" in British English

See all translations


uk /kraɪm/ us /kraɪm/

B1 [ U ] illegal activities:

a life of crime
rising crime
crime prevention
petty (= unimportant) crime/serious crime

B1 [ C ] an illegal act:

He has admitted committing several crimes, including fraud.
The defendant is accused of/charged with a range of crimes, from theft to murder.
A knife was found at the scene of the crime (= the place where the crime happened).
Bombing civilians is a crime against humanity (= a cruel crime against many people).

[ S ] an unacceptable or very silly act or situation:

To have hundreds of homeless people sleeping in the streets of a rich city like London is a crime .
It would be a crime (= a waste) to spend such a beautiful day indoors.

More examples

(Definition of “crime” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"crime" in American English

See all translations

crimenoun [ C/U ]

us /krɑɪm/

an action or activity that is against the law, or illegal activity generally:

[ U ] Violent crime has been reduced.
[ C ] It’s a crime to yell "fire" in a crowded theater if there isn’t one.
[ C ] If you commit a crime, you will be punished.

People say something is a crime if it is wrong:

[ C usually sing ] It’s a crime that people go to bed hungry in this country.

(Definition of “crime” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"crime" in Business English

See all translations


uk /kraɪm/ us LAW

[ U ] illegal activities:

The area was plagued with failing schools, rising crime and poor healthcare.
Unemployment is associated with a rising crime rate.
crime prevention
petty/serious crime
The judicial system has been too soft on corruption and white-collar crime.
The number of cases of computer crime has continued to increase.
The new database will help in the fight against identity fraud and organized crime.
combat/tackle crime Most local stores were involved in the initiative to tackle retail crime.

[ C ] an illegal act:

commit a crime The former chief executive had committed a crime and was brought to justice.
be accused of/charged with/convicted of a crime The defendant is accused of a range of crimes, from fraud to embezzlement of company funds.

(Definition of “crime” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)