Learner's definition of CRIME
1 [count] : an illegal act for which someone can be punished by the government
Have you ever been convicted of a crime? = Were you ever found guilty of a crime?
a very serious crime
She paid dearly for her crimes.
The punishment didn't fit the crime. [=the punishment was too mild/severe]
evidence that helped them solve the crime
a federal crime
weapons used to commit crimes [=to do something illegal]
I've committed no crime. = I haven't committed any crime.
He was punished for a crime that he didn't commit.
laws against hate crimes [=crimes that people commit because they hate the victim's race, religion, etc.]
He thought he had committed a/the perfect crime. [=a crime that leaves no evidence]
2 [noncount] : activity that is against the law : illegal acts in general
poverty and crime
Hiring more police officers would help prevent/deter/reduce (the amount of) crime in our city.
leaders who are tough on crime = leaders who work hard to fight crime
He turned to a life of crime [=he became a criminal] as a teenager.
He has links to organized crime. [=a group of professional criminals who work together as part of a powerful and secret organization]
the recent increase in violent crime
— often used before another noun
◊ Someone's partner in crime is a person who helps someone commit a crime.
3 [singular] : an act that is foolish or wrong
It's a crime [=sin] to let food go to waste.
Being single is not a crime.
There's no greater crime than forgetting your anniversary.
crime against humanity
: a very cruel or terrible illegal act that is directed against a group of people