What does felony mean?

Definitions for felony
ˈfɛl ə nifelony

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word felony.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. felonynoun

    a serious crime (such as murder or arson)


  1. felonynoun

    A serious criminal offense, which, under federal law, is punishable by death or imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.

  2. Etymology: felonie, from felon. Ultimately of origin. More at felon.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Felonynoun

    A crime denounced capital by the law; an enormous crime.

    Etymology: felonie, Fr. felonia, low Latin, from felon.

    I will make it felony to drink small beer. William Shakespeare, Henry VI.


  1. Felony

    A felony is traditionally considered a crime of high seriousness, whereas a misdemeanor is regarded as less serious. The term "felony" originated from English common law (from the French medieval word "félonie") to describe an offense that resulted in the confiscation of a convicted person's land and goods, to which additional punishments including capital punishment could be added; other crimes were called misdemeanors. Following conviction of a felony in a court of law, a person may be described as a felon or a convicted felon. Some common law countries and jurisdictions no longer classify crimes as felonies or misdemeanors and instead use other distinctions, such as by classifying serious crimes as indictable offenses and less serious crimes as summary offenses. In the United States, where the felony/misdemeanor distinction is still widely applied, the federal government defines a felony as a crime punishable by death or imprisonment in excess of one year. If punishable by exactly one year or less, it is classified as a misdemeanor. The classification is based upon a crime's potential sentence, so a crime remains classified as a felony even if a defendant convicted of a felony receives a sentence of one year or less. Some individual states classify crimes by other factors, such as seriousness or context. In some civil law jurisdictions, such as Italy and Spain, the term delict is used to describe serious offenses, a category similar to common law felony. In other nations, such as Germany, France, Belgium, and Switzerland, more serious offenses are described as crimes, while misdemeanors or delicts (or délits) are less serious. In still others (such as Brazil and Portugal), crimes and delicts are synonymous (more serious) and are opposed to contraventions (less serious).


  1. felony

    A felony is a serious crime, typically one involving violence or significant harm, that is punishable by more than one year of imprisonment. These crimes can include but not limited to murder, rape, arson, kidnapping, fraud, burglary, or robbery. Felonies are considered more severe than misdemeanors, which are a lesser category of crime. The exact definition and consequences can vary among different legal jurisdictions.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Felonynoun

    an act on the part of the vassal which cost him his fee by forfeiture

  2. Felonynoun

    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. Felonynoun

    a heinous crime; especially, a crime punishable by death or imprisonment

  4. Etymology: [OE. felonie cruelty, OF. felonie, F. flonie treachery, malice. See Felon, n.]


  1. Felony

    A felony is a serious crime in some common law countries. The term originates from English common law where felonies were originally crimes which involved the confiscation of a convicted person's land and goods; other crimes were called misdemeanors. Many common law countries have now abolished the felony/misdemeanor distinction and replaced it with other distinctions such as between indictable offences and summary offences. A felony is generally considered to be a crime of "high seriousness", while a misdemeanor is not. A person convicted in a court of law of a felony crime is known as a felon. In the United States, where the felony/misdemeanor distinction is still widely applied, the federal government defines a felony as a crime punishable by death or imprisonment in excess of one year. If punishable by exactly one year or less, it is classified as a misdemeanor. The individual states may differ in this definition, using other categories as seriousness or context. Similar to felonies in some civil law countries are delicts, whereas in others crimes and delicts.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Felony

    "a crime which involves a total forfeiture of lands or goods or both, to which capital or other punishment may be superadded, according to the degree of guilt."

Suggested Resources

  1. felony

    Song lyrics by felony -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by felony on the Lyrics.com website.

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How to pronounce felony?

How to say felony in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of felony in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of felony in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of felony in a Sentence

  1. Investigation Director Vic Reynolds:

    I cant answer what another agency did or didnt see but I can tell you that, based on our involvement in the case, considering the fact that we hit the ground running Wednesday morning and within 36 hours, we had secured warrants for two individuals for felony murder, i think that speaks volumes for itself and that probable cause was clear to our agents pretty quickly.

  2. Lazarus Long:

    Being intelligent is not a felony, but most societies evaluate it as at least a misdemeanor.

  3. Jeb Bush:

    Yes, they broke the law, but it's not a felony. It's an act of love, it's an act of commitment to your family.

  4. Sheriff Wayne Ivey:

    This case is a perfect example of what is wrong with our criminal justice system, when a registered career criminal with 23 felony charges, 17 misdemeanor charges, multiple convictions for violent offenses and two active and pending drug trafficking cases is out on our streets where he can attempt to kill our deputies and put other lives at risk, something is wrong with our system.

  5. Margaret Stock:

    The administration is deporting as many criminal aliens as possible for the numbers, but it does n’t take into account military service, most people also don’t understand how complicated immigration law really is and how easy it is to run afoul of these complex laws. Making matters worse, Margaret Stock said, is that defendants in deportation cases are not automatically given attorneys and often ca n’t afford to hire their own, resulting in many being wrongfully deported. Any lawful permanent resident, veteran or not, can be deported upon conviction of a crime that falls under the extremely broad umbrella of a Crime Involving Moral Turpitude. This can be either a misdemeanor or felony, and typically includes anything from assault, fraud and perjury to robbery, theft and bribery. The rulings are often viewed by immigration lawyers as arbitrary and the immigration code now includes scores of petty offenses listed alongside the severe ones, all punishable by deportation. Still, the federal government is very deliberate in its review of cases involving veterans, insisted Gillian Christensen, spokeswoman for the U.S. immigration and Customs Enforcement( ICE).

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Translations for felony

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • جنايةArabic
  • углавно престъплениеBulgarian
  • trestný čin, závažný trestný činCzech
  • forbrydelseDanish
  • schwere Straftat, Verbrechen, Schwerverbrechen, Schwerstverbrechen, KapitalverbrechenGerman
  • κακούργημαGreek
  • delito, felonía, crimenSpanish
  • törkeä rikosFinnish
  • crimeFrench
  • feileonachtIrish
  • 重罪Japanese
  • 중죄Korean
  • taiharaMāori
  • zwaar misdrijfDutch
  • ciężkie przestępstwo, zbrodniaPolish
  • crimePortuguese
  • crimăRomanian
  • уголовное преступление, тяжкое преступление, фелония, тяжкое уголовное преступление, преступлениеRussian

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"felony." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 4 Mar. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/felony>.

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