Definition of criminal adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈkrɪmɪnl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkrɪmɪnl//
    jump to other results
  1. 1  [usually before noun] (rather formal or law) connected with or involving crime criminal offences/behaviour criminal damage (= the crime of damaging somebody’s property deliberately) criminal negligence (= the illegal act of somebody failing to do something that they should do, with the result that somebody else is harmed)
  2. 2  [only before noun] connected to the laws that deal with crime criminal law the criminal justice system a criminal lawyer to bring criminal charges against somebody compare civil
  3. 3morally wrong This is a criminal waste of resources. See related entries: Immoral
  4. Word Originlate Middle English (as an adjective): from late Latin criminalis, from Latin crimen ‘judgement, offence’, crimin-, based on cernere ‘to judge’.Extra examples It should be a criminal offence to inflict cruelty on any wild animal. She has been cleared of criminal negligence. They were charged with criminal damage.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: criminal