crime


From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Crime \Crime\ (kr[imac]m), n. [F. crime, fr. L. crimen judicial
   decision, that which is subjected to such a decision, charge,
   fault, crime, fr. the root of cernere to decide judicially.
   See Certain.]
   1. Any violation of law, either divine or human; an omission
      of a duty commanded, or the commission of an act forbidden
      by law.
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   2. Gross violation of human law, in distinction from a
      misdemeanor or trespass, or other slight offense. Hence,
      also, any aggravated offense against morality or the
      public welfare; any outrage or great wrong. "To part error
      from crime." --Tennyson.
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   Note: Crimes, in the English common law, are grave offenses
         which were originally capitally punished (murder, rape,
         robbery, arson, burglary, and larceny), as
         distinguished from misdemeanors, which are offenses of
         a lighter grade. See Misdemeanors.
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   3. Any great wickedness or sin; iniquity.
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            No crime was thine, if 'tis no crime to love.
                                                  --Pope.
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   4. That which occasion crime. [Obs.]
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            The tree of life, the crime of our first father's
            fall.                                 --Spenser.
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   Capital crime, a crime punishable with death.

   Syn: Sin; vice; iniquity; wrong.

   Usage: Crime, Sin,Vice. Sin is the generic term,
          embracing wickedness of every kind, but specifically
          denoting an offense as committed against God. Crime is
          strictly a violation of law either human or divine;
          but in present usage the term is commonly applied to
          actions contrary to the laws of the State. Vice is
          more distinctively that which springs from the
          inordinate indulgence of the natural appetites, which
          are in themselves innocent. Thus intemperance,
          unchastity, duplicity, etc., are vices; while murder,
          forgery, etc., which spring from the indulgence of
          selfish passions, are crimes.
          [1913 Webster]
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