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crime

Definition of Crime

(noun) An act that violates a law and is punishable by an authority through formal sanctions.

Types of Crime

Crime Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: crime

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English – /kraɪm/
  • British English – /krʌɪm/

Usage Notes

  • Plural: crimes
  • Crime in the United States falls into two categories: crimes against people or crimes against property.
  • Also called:
    • criminal offense
    • law-breaking
  • An individual who commits a crime is called a (noun) criminal and when something is declared illegal it is (verb) criminalized (also called illegalized) and when the law changes making something no longer a crime it is (verb) decriminalized (also called legalized).

Related Quotations

  • “Crime is necessary; it is linked to the fundamental conditions of all social life and, because of that, is useful; for those conditions to which it is bound are themselves indispensable to the normal evolution of morality and law” (Durkheim [1895] 2004:57).
  • “We can say that an act is criminal when it offends strong and defined states of the collective consciousness . . . In other words, we must not say that an action offends the common consciousness because it is criminal, but rather that it is criminal because it shocks the common consciousness. We do not condemn it because it is a crime, but it is a crime because we condemn it” (Durkheim [1893] 2004:24).

Related Videos

Additional Information

Related Terms


References

Durkheim, Émile. [1893] 2004. “The Division of Labour in Society.” Pp. 19–38 in Readings from Emile Durkheim. Rev. ed., edited and translated by K. Thompson. New York: Routledge.

Durkheim, Émile. [1895] 2004. “The Rules of Sociological Method.” Pp. 43–63 in Readings from Emile Durkheim. Rev. ed., edited and translated by K. Thompson. New York: Routledge.

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Cite the Definition of Crime

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “crime.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved December 10, 2019 (https://sociologydictionary.org/crime/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

crime. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/crime/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “crime.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed December 10, 2019. https://sociologydictionary.org/crime/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“crime.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 10 Dec. 2019. <https://sociologydictionary.org/crime/>.