Here are some English words you can use when talking about crime. We list the word, part of speech, definition, and an example sentence.
crime (noun): Any deliberate act that is against governmental regulations and is therefore deserving of punishment. – The city is an unsafe place to live, due to the high rate of crime. | Not declaring all one’s earnings is a crime.
accuse (verb): To claim someone has done something wrong or committed a crime. – The man accused the teenager of stealing his phone.
arson (noun): The act of setting fire to a building. – The building was destroyed in an arson attack.
arsonist (noun): A person who sets fire to a building. – The arsonist was sentenced to twelve years in prison for setting fire to his workplace.
assault (verb): To someone physically. – Tom assaulted Mary as she was walking home from work.
bigamist (noun): A person who marries while still married to another person. – The bigamist had been leading a double life for the past years.
bigamy (noun): Marrying someone while you are still married to another person. – Tom was found guilty of bigamy after two women claimed to be his wife.
blackmail (noun): Demanding money from a person by threatening to reveal information. – Terence used the recordings of his colleague as blackmail.
blackmail (verb): Demand money from a person by threatening to reveal information. – Tony claimed that his colleague had been blackmailing him.
break in (noun): The act of entering a place illegally. – The break in was reported long after the burglars had fled the scene.
break in (verb): Enter a place illegally. – The men broke into the house and stole a stereo system and a television.
bribe (noun): Money or gifts offered to a person to persuade them to do something. – The referee refused to accept the bribe.
bribe (verb): To offer people money to persuade them to do something. – The coach tried to bribe the referee into helping his team get through to the finals.
bribery (noun): The act of offering people money to persuade them to do something you want. – The politician was charged with bribery after offering citizens a tax reduction in exchange for their votes.
burglar (noun): A person who enters homes or buildings illegally and steals things. – Burglars broke into our house while we were on holiday.
burglary (noun): To enter a home or building illegally and steal from it. – The burglary occurred in the middle of the night.
burgle (verb): To enter a home or building illegally and steal from it. – The house was burgled while its owners were at work.
child abuse (noun): Causing harm to a minor. – The man was charged with child abuse after beating his son with a broom.
conspiracy (noun): Secretly planning with others to do something illegal or harmful. – Twelve members of the community were involved in the conspiracy.
conspire (verb): To plan with others to do something illegal. – The men were conspiring to blow up a bridge.
criminal (noun): A person who breaks the law. – The criminal was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
cyber crime (noun): Committing crimes over the internet. – Cyber crime has made the internet a dangerous place.
domestic violence (noun): Committing violent acts towards family members in a home setting. – Several incidents of domestic violence have been reported by the family’s neighbours.
embezzle (verb): To steal money belonging to a company that his been put in your care. – The office manager was accused of embezzling money that had been put in his care to pay suppliers.
embezzlement (noun): Stealing money belonging to a company that his been put in your care. – Many incidents of embezzlement happen in the workplace.
espionage (noun): Using spies to find out secret information. – The soldier was accused of espionage during the war.
extort (verb): To threaten people to obtain money. – Jeffrey had amassed a fortune by extorting his employer.
extortion (noun): Threatening people in order to obtain money. – The millionaire had made his fortune through extortion.
forge (verb): To create or reproduce documents, banknotes, or signatures for the purpose of deceiving others. – Gary forged his employer’s signature on a cheque.
forgery (noun): The act of creating or reproducing documents, banknotes or signatures for the purpose of deceiving others. – The men were arrested for forgery after being caught trying to replicate bank notes.
fraud (noun): Lying to or deceiving people to obtain money. – The man was charged with fraud after being caught using his employer’s credit card.
fraudster (noun): A person who lies or deceives people to obtain money. – The fraudster was caught trying to cash stolen cheques.
guilty (adjective): Responsible for doing something wrong or committing a crime. – The man was found guilty of stealing from his employer.
hijack (verb): To take control of a moving vehicle and force it to go to a different destination. – Three armed men attempted to hijack the train.
hijacker (noun): A person who takes control of a moving vehicle and forces it to go to a different destination. – The hijackers held a gun to the pilot’s head and forced him to fly into a mountain.
hijacking (noun): The act of taking control of a moving vehicle and forcing it to go to a different destination. – The hijacking occurred on a flight from Rome to Paris.
homicide (noun): Killing another person, either accidentally or intentionally. – The driver was charged with homicide after the fatal crash.
illegal (adjective): Against or forbidden by the law. – It is illegal to drink alcohol if you are under 18 years of age.
jail (noun): An institution where criminals are sent as punishment. Criminals sent to jail usually serve shorter sentences than those sent to prison. – The fraudster was sentenced to two years in jail.
kidnap (verb): To take a person by force and demand money for their safe return. – The president’s daughter was kidnapped by two armed men.
kidnapper (noun): A person who takes another person by force and demands money for their safe return. –The kidnappers forced the child into their car.
kidnapping (noun): The act of taking a person by force and demanding money for their safe return. – The kidnapping of the President’s daughter sent the nation into panic.
manslaughter (noun): Killing someone accidentally or unintentionally. – The drunk driver was charged with manslaughter.
money laundering (noun): Obtaining money illegally and not revealing where it comes from. – The manager was charged with moneylaundering after it was discovered that he’d made his money through drug dealing.
mug (verb): To attack someone in a public place and steal from them. – Gordon was mugged by two young men while walking his dog in the park.
mugger (noun): A person who attacks someone in a public place and steals from them. – The muggers stole the victim’s wallet, then left him bleeding on the ground.
mugging (noun): Attacking someone in a public place and stealing from them. – The mugging took place in the park on Monday night.
murder (noun): The act of intentionally killing someone. – The doctor’s murder shocked the community.
murder (verb): To kill someone intentionally. – Tom had murdered his wife with a kitchen knife.
murderer (noun): A person who commits murder. – The murderer was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
perjury (noun): The act of lying in a court of law. – After lying to the judge about his involvement in the robbery, Adam was charged with perjury.
pickpocket (noun): A person who steals from someone’s pockets or bags. – Pickpockets stole our wallets while we were standing outside the museum.
pickpocket (verb): To steal from someone’s pockets or bags. – Al was pickpocketed on the bus.
pickpocketing (noun): The act of stealing from a person’s pockets or bags. – Pickpocketing is particularly common in touristy areas.
poach (verb): To catch and hunt animals that belong to someone else. – The man was caught try to poach salmon from a private lake.
poacher (verb): A person who catches and hunts animals that belong to someone else. – The poacher was caught shooting birds on Malcom’s land.
poaching (noun): Catching and hunting animals that belong to someone else. – There have been several incidents of poaching on our estate.
prison (noun): An institution where criminals are sent as punishment. Criminals sent to prison usually serve longer sentences than those sent to jail. – Most of the men in the prison have been there for over a decade.
prisoner (noun): A person who is serving a prison sentence. – The prisoners tried to escape through the bathroom window.
prostitute (noun): A person who engages in sexual activity in exchange for payment. – The area is full of prostitutes trying to pick up new clients.
prostitution (noun): Engaging in sexual activity in exchange for payment. – Muriel made a decent living through prostitution.
prisoner (noun): A person who is serving a prison sentence. – The prisoners tried to escape through the bathroom window.
rape (noun): The act of committing sexual assault. – Several incidents of rape have been reported in the area.
rape (verb): To commit sexual assault. – The man raped his victim several times.
rapist (verb): A person who commits sexual assault. – The rapist attacked the women while she was jogging.
rob (verb): To steal or attempt to steal from a place using threats or violence. – The man who tried to rob the bank was wearing a mask.
robber (noun): A person who steals or attempts to steal from a place using threats or violence. – The robber held a gun to the cashier’s head and told him to give him the money in the cash register.
robbery (noun): The act of stealing or attempting to steal from a place using threats or violence. – One bank teller was shot during the bank robbery.
sentence (noun): Time spent in prison as punishment for committing a crime. – Tim is half-way through a 20-year sentence.
sentence (verb): To impose punishment for committing a crime. Sentencing is done by a judge in a court of law. – The murder was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
shoplift (verb): To steal goods from a shop. – A woman was caught shoplifting in the supermarket.
shoplifter (noun): A person who shoplifts. – The shoplifter was caught trying to steal a bar of chocolate.
shoplifting (noun): The act of stealing goods from a shop. – Shoplifting is a problem in our department store, which is why we’ve installed cameras.
slander (noun): Making a false statement which damages someone’s reputation . – After lying about the politician’s activities, Don was charged with slander.
smuggle (verb): To move things out of a country or state illegally. – Tim tried to smuggle cocaine out of the country in his socks.
smuggler (verb): A person who moves things out of a country illegally. – The smugglers were caught transporting cocaine over the border.
smuggling (noun):The act of moving things out if a country or state illegally. – Drug smuggling is common over the eastern border.
steal (noun): Taking something that belongs to another person without their permission. – Somebody stole my bike while I was in the bank.
tax evasion (noun): Failure to pay or underpayment of tax by not declaring one’s total income. – After failing to declare over 50% of his income, Larry was charged with tax evasion.
terrorise (verb): To use violence or threats to create fear. – The men tried to terrorise us by threatening to blow up the bus.
terrorism (noun): Using violence or threats to create fear. – Terrorism has made us reluctant to travel.
terrorist (noun): A person who uses violence or threats to create fear. – The terrorists shot the bus driver and threatened to shoot the passengers as well.
theft (noun): The act of stealing. – The victim was unaware of the theft until he realised his car was missing from outside his house.
thief (noun): A person who steals from other people. – The thief stole my bike while I was in the supermarket.
treason (noun): Being disloyal to one’s country by either helping or offering information to its enemies. – Roger was charged with treason after revealing secret information to another country.
trial (noun): An examination presented before a judge in a law court to decide if a person is guilty of committing a crime. – At the end of the trial, the judge declared the man guilty of manslaughter and sentenced him to 15 years in prison.
vandal (noun): A person who deliberately destroys other people’s property. – The vandal was caught writing on the walls of the shopping mall.
vandalise (verb): To deliberatey destroy or damage public or private property. – Those who vandalise shall be punished.
vandalism (noun): Deliberately destroying or damaging public or private property. – The teenagers were charged with vandalism after being caught breaking a cars’ window.
verdict (noun): The final outcome of a trial. – We were all disappointed by the verdict.
victim (noun): A person who is injured or harmed in a criminal act. – The victim was left bleeding on the side of the road.