Hyper Dictionary

English Dictionary Computer Dictionary Video Dictionary Thesaurus Dream Dictionary Medical Dictionary

Search Dictionary:  

Meaning of FELONY

Pronunciation:  'felunee

WordNet Dictionary
[n]  a serious crime

FELONY is a 6 letter word that starts with F.


 See Also: bribery, burglary, capture, crime, extortion, graft, larceny, law-breaking, racketeering, seizure, stealing, theft, thievery, thieving



Webster's 1913 Dictionary
\Fel"o*ny\, n.; pl. {Felonies}. [OE. felonie cruelty, OF.
felonie, F. f['e]lonie treachery, malice. See {Felon}, n.]
1. (Feudal Law) An act on the part of the vassal which cost
   him his fee by forfeiture. --Burrill.

2. (O.Eng.Law) An offense which occasions a total forfeiture
   either lands or goods, or both, at the common law, and to
   which capital or other punishment may be added, according
   to the degree of guilt.

3. A heinous crime; especially, a crime punishable by death
   or imprisonment.

Note: Forfeiture for crime having been generally abolished in
      the United States, the term felony, in American law,
      has lost this point of distinction; and its meaning,
      where not fixed by statute, is somewhat vague and
      undefined; generally, however, it is used to denote an
      offense of a high grade, punishable either capitally or
      by a term of imprisonment. In Massachusetts, by
      statute, any crime punishable by death or imprisonment
      in the state prison, and no other, is a felony; so in
      New York. the tendency now is to obliterate the
      distinction between felonies and misdemeanors; and this
      has been done partially in England, and completely in
      some of the States of the Union. The distinction is
      purely arbitrary, and its entire abolition is only a
      question of time.

Note: There is no lawyer who would undertake to tell what a
      felony is, otherwise than by enumerating the various
      kinds of offenses which are so called. originally, the
      word felony had a meaning: it denoted all offenses the
      penalty of which included forfeiture of goods; but
      subsequent acts of Parliament have declared various
      offenses to be felonies, without enjoining that
      penalty, and have taken away the penalty from others,
      which continue, nevertheless, to be called felonies,
      insomuch that the acts so called have now no property
      whatever in common, save that of being unlawful and
      purnishable. --J. S. Mill.

Legal Dictionary
 Definition: A serious criminal offense. Under federal law any offense punishable by death or imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.
Thesaurus Terms
 Related Terms: atrocity, breach, crime, crime against humanity, deadly sin, delict, delinquency, dereliction, enormity, error, evil, failure, fault, genocide, guilty act, heavy sin, illegality, impropriety, indiscretion, inexpiable sin, iniquity, injury, injustice, lapse, malefaction, malfeasance, malum, minor wrong, misdeed, misdemeanor, misfeasance, mortal sin, nonfeasance, offense, omission, outrage, peccadillo, peccancy, sin, sin of commission, sin of omission, sinful act, slip, tort, transgression, trespass, trip, unutterable sin, venial sin, violation, wrong, wrongdoing