Meaning of “first offender” in the English Dictionary

british dictionary

"first offender" in British English

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first offendernoun [ C ]

uk /ˌfɜːst əˈfen.dər/ us /ˌfɝːst əˈfen.dɚ/

Examples from literature

  • Even our earthly courts are lenient toward first offenders. 
  • First offenders were soused with a bucket of water. 
  • In many instances it is quite sufficient punishment for a first offender in a petty case to be publicly rebuked in the police court. 
  • Not only does the public gradually become cognizant of the treatment accorded them, but some attempt at discrimination is made between the first offenders and those hardened by long practice in that most hideous of occupations. 
  • Probation is generally granted to young prisoners and first offenders but usually not permitted in cases that the law classifies as the most serious. 

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

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