criminal Definition

  • 1a person who has committed a crime
  • 2relating to crime

Using criminal: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "criminal" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    The criminal was sentenced to life in prison.

  • Example

    He has a long history of criminal behavior.

  • Example

    She works for a law firm that specializes in criminal cases.

  • Example

    The police are investigating the criminal activities of the gang.

criminal Synonyms and Antonyms

Synonyms for criminal

Antonyms for criminal

Idioms Using criminal

  • a way of thinking that is associated with criminal behavior


    The detective was able to solve the case by getting inside the criminal mind of the suspect.

  • to start engaging in criminal behavior


    He went criminal after losing his job and getting into debt.

  • to cause someone to become a criminal


    The harsh living conditions and lack of opportunities can make a criminal out of someone.

Phrases with criminal

  • a list of a person's previous criminal convictions


    He was denied entry to the country because of his criminal record.

  • the system by which society responds to crimes and criminals, including law enforcement, courts, and corrections


    The criminal justice system is designed to protect the rights of both victims and defendants.

  • a person who is highly intelligent and skilled at planning and executing complex criminal schemes


    The heist was planned and executed by a criminal mastermind who has never been caught.


Summary: criminal in Brief

The term 'criminal' [ˈkrɪmɪn(ə)l] refers to a person who has committed a crime or something relating to crime. It is used in contexts such as 'criminal record' and 'criminal justice system.' The term also extends into idioms like 'a criminal mind,' referring to a way of thinking associated with criminal behavior, and 'go criminal,' meaning to start engaging in criminal behavior.

How do native speakers use this expression?