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white-collar crime

Definition of White-collar Crime

(noun) A nonviolent crime of opportunity, often involving money.

Example of White-collar Crime

  • embezzlement: The theft of funds or property entrusted to you but owned by another.

White-collar Crime Pronunciation

  • IPA Pronunciation
    • American English
      • /ˈ(h)waɪtˈˌkɑlər kraɪm/
    • British English
      • /ˌwʌɪtˈkɒlə krʌɪm/
  • Syllabification: (white col·lar crime)

Usage Notes

  • Plural: white-collar crimes
  • Term originates from the white dress shirts worn by professionals such as bankers and lawyers, as opposed to the denim or blue uniform shirts worn by wage laborers or blue-collar workers.
  • A type of crime.
  • Also called corporate crime.

Additional Information

Related Terms


Works Consulted

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Cite the Definition of White-collar Crime

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “white-collar crime.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved October 16, 2019 (https://sociologydictionary.org/white-collar-crime/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

white-collar crime. (2014). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/white-collar-crime/

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

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “white-collar crime.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed October 16, 2019. https://sociologydictionary.org/white-collar-crime/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“white-collar crime.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2014. Web. 16 Oct. 2019. <https://sociologydictionary.org/white-collar-crime/>.