From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishcriminalcrim‧i‧nal1 /ˈkrɪmɪnəl/ ●●● S3 W2 adjective 1 SCCCRIMErelating to crime Experts cannot agree on the causes of criminal behaviour. I was sure he was involved in some kind of criminal activity. She has not committed a criminal offence (=a crime). He was arrested and charged with criminal damage (=damaging someone’s property illegally). The doctor was found guilty of criminal negligence (=not taking enough care to protect people you are responsible for).2 SCTrelating to the part of the legal system that is concerned with crime → civil The case will be tried in a criminal court. We have no faith in the criminal justice system. The police are investigating the matter, and he may face criminal charges (=be officially accused of a crime). She usually deals with serious criminal cases. a criminal lawyer3 BAD BEHAVIOUR OR ACTIONSwrong, dishonest, and unacceptable SYN wicked It seems criminal that teachers are paid so little money. —criminally adverb a hospital for the criminally insane —criminality /ˌkrɪməˈnæləti/ noun [uncountable]COLLOCATIONS – Meaning 1: relating to crimenounscriminal activityThere was no evidence of any criminal activity.a criminal offence/act (=a crime)Cruelty to animals is a criminal offence.criminal behaviourIs it possible that the tendency to criminal behaviour is inherited?criminal wrongdoing American English (=actions that are illegal)The investigation cleared him of any criminal wrongdoing.criminal damage British English (=damaging someone's property illegally)He was charged with criminal damage to his boss's car.criminal negligence (=not taking enough care to protect people you are responsible for)Charges of criminal negligence were brought against senior staff.a criminal investigation (=when a possible crime is investigated)The FBI is conducting a criminal investigation into the bombing. COLLOCATIONS – Meaning 2: relating to the part of the legal system that is concerned with crimenounsthe criminal justice systemHow effective is our criminal justice system?criminal lawI’m more interested in criminal law than civil law.a criminal charge (=an official accusation that someone has committed a crime)He’s been arrested on a very serious criminal charge.a criminal record (=a record, kept by the police, of the crimes someone has committed)It can be hard for someone with a criminal record to find work.a criminal caseThe crown court usually deals with criminal cases.a criminal trialHis year-long criminal trial ended in October.criminal proceedings (=actions to deal with criminals, such as charging people with crimes or bringing them to trial)Criminal proceedings have been started against the officers connected with the events.a criminal courtThe trial will take place in an international criminal court.a criminal lawyer (=who deals with criminal cases)
Examples from the Corpuscriminal• I think keeping animals locked up in cages is criminal.• It was estimated that Walker had made around £100,000 from his criminal activities.• Gleason denied any involvement in criminal activity and was released.• The criminal case against Mr Sole is still pending.• Unlike applications for interception in other criminal cases there was no procedure for judicial authorization in the case of security applications.• Lawyers are not allowed to comment on current criminal cases.• The reason, several people said, is that nobody saw a political benefit in further pursuit of criminal charges against Clinton.• I organized political protests, but also got two appointments from federal criminal courts.• the criminal justice system• Call has an interesting vision of the possibilities of criminal justice.• In Britain today we have different criminal laws and hence a different range of crime from those which once existed.• Cruelty to animals is a criminal offence.• It's criminal to charge so much for popcorn at the movies!• After she sued, Harvard said it would file criminal trespass charges against Garzilli if she sets foot in the department.• Having such beautiful paintings and not letting the public see them is a criminal waste of the nation's art treasures.criminal behaviour• Eysenck then argues that extroversion is the inherited basis of criminal behaviour.• He maintains that there is a link between characteristics such as extroversion and criminal behaviour.• Merton's model or theory does not adequately explain all types of criminal behaviour.• Then, once located, the subjects have to be convinced that they can safely discuss their criminal behaviour.• While such notions may all contains some elements of truth, they are by no means complete explanations of criminal behaviour.• Thus, some policemen are urged by their tough-minded colleagues to treat marginal incidents as criminal behaviour and are encouraged into action.• These involved marital, loss or separation, social relations or isolation, and criminal behaviour problems.• Most laws against corporate criminal behaviour require that intention be proved before guilt can be established.criminal court• I organized political protests, but also got two appointments from federal criminal courts.• The functions of the judge were curtailed and his quasi-criminal jurisdiction transferred to a criminal court.• The victim does not have a special place in the criminal court.• Here are some of the most recent criminal court cases.• The answer is that a few big city criminal courts did become clogged with drug cases in the seventies and eighties.• The Council also had powers as a criminal court in matters arising out of its administrative duties.• Although there were delays in the criminal courts, they seldom lasted more than a few months.• The dock of a criminal court was a long way from the line ups Guppy is used to. criminalcriminal2 ●●● W3 noun [countable] SCCsomeone who is involved in illegal activities or has been proved guilty of a crime → offender Police have described the man as a violent and dangerous criminal. a convicted criminal (=someone who has been found guilty of a crime) The new law will ensure that habitual criminals (=criminals who commit crimes repeatedly) receive tougher punishments than first-time offenders. Teenagers should not be sent to prison to mix with hardened criminals (=criminals who have committed and will continue to commit a lot of crimes).THESAURUScriminal someone who is involved in illegal activities or has been proved guilty of a crime. Criminal is used especially about someone who often does things that are illegalCriminals are stealing people's credit card details off the Internet.He is one of the most wanted criminals in the United States.offender someone who breaks the lawThe courts should impose tougher punishments on offenders. a special prison for young offenderscrook informal a dishonest person, especially one who steals money and who you cannot trustSome politicians are crooks, but not all of them.They're just a bunch of crooks.felon law especially American English someone who has committed a serious crimeConvicted felons should not be allowed to profit from their crimes.the culprit the person who has done something wrong or illegalThe culprits were never found.If I ever catch the culprit, he or she is in big trouble.The culprits were just six years old.delinquent a young person who behaves badly and is likely to commit crimes – used especially in the phrase juvenile delinquentHe later worked with juvenile delinquents in a Florida youth services program. accomplice someone who helps a criminal to do something illegalPolice believe the murderer must have had an accomplice.different types of criminalthief someone who steals thingsCar thieves have been working in the area.The thieves stole over £5,000 worth of jewellery. robber someone who steals money or valuable things from a bank, shop etc – used especially when someone sees the person who is stealinga masked robber armed with a shotgunThey were the most successful bank robbers in US history.burglar someone who goes into people’s homes in order to stealThe burglars broke in through a window.shoplifter someone who takes things from shops without paying for themThe cameras have helped the store catch several shoplifters.pickpocket someone who steals things from people’s pockets, especially in a crowdA sign warned that pickpockets were active in the station.conman/fraudster someone who deceives people in order to get money or thingsConmen tricked the woman into giving them her savings, as an ‘investment’.forger someone who illegally copies official documents, money, artworks etca forger who fooled museum curatorscounterfeiter someone who illegally copies money, official documents, or goodsCounterfeiters in Colombia are printing almost perfect dollar bills.pirate someone who illegally copies and sells another person’s workDVD piratesmugger someone who attacks and robs people in public placesMuggers took his money and mobile phone.murderer someone who deliberately kills someone elseHis murderer was sentenced to life imprisonment. the murderer of civil rights activist Medgar Evers He is a mass murderer (=someone who kills a large number of people).serial killer someone who kills several people, one after the other over a period of time, in a similar wayShipman was a trusted family doctor who became Britain's worst serial killer. rapist someone who forces someone else to have sexSome rapists drug their victims so that they become unconscious.sex offender someone who is guilty of a crime related to sexToo many sex offenders are released from prison early.vandal someone who deliberately damages public propertyVandals broke most of the school’s windows.arsonist someone who deliberately sets fire to a buildingThe warehouse fire may have been the work of an arsonist.
Examples from the Corpuscriminal• They liked him when he was disgusting and filthy and a criminal, and he acted it up.• He had never been inside a police station, had never met a private detective, had never spoken to a criminal.• Sending children to adult prisons just means they learn to be 'better' criminals from the adult inmates.• The British government maintains that Donavan is a common criminal who should be brought to justice.• Grimes is considered to be one of the most dangerous criminals in the US.• Besides, a successful professional criminal with a Legal Aid lawyer is like a billionaire collecting Social Security.• It is alleged that criminals have targeted the smaller, idyllic islands.• Unfortunately the innocents get hurt, never the criminals behind the scenes.• If the police arm themselves, the criminals will stay a step ahead by obtaining bigger and better weapons.convicted criminal• It must never be thought that a convicted criminal can buy his way out of imprisonment.• In some cases homes were being run by convicted criminals.• Fred Goldman has become public affairs director for a Washington-based organization called Safe Streets, which seeks tougher punishment for convicted criminals.• The Supreme Court ruled in 1990 that convicted criminals can avoid making restitution by declaring bankruptcy.• Florida paroles first-time convicted criminals into the care of the Salvation Army-25,000 of them at any one time.• The background of long-firm fraudsters is far more varied than is found with convicted criminals as a whole.From Longman Business Dictionarycriminalcrim‧i‧nal1 /ˈkrɪmɪnəl/ adjective [only before a noun]1not allowed by law and able to be punished by lawThe investigation uncovered serious criminal activity.allegations of possible criminal conduct involving company directors2dealing with legal cases that involve crimeforensic tests involved in criminal and civil court casesa criminal lawyercriminalcriminal2 noun [countable] someone who is involved in illegal activity or has been found guilty of a crimeOrigin criminal1 (1400-1500) French criminel, from Late Latin criminalis, from Latin crimen; → CRIME