bur·glary /'bər-glə-rē/ n pl -glar·ies [Anglo-French burglarie, modification of Medieval Latin burgaria, from burgare to break into (a house)]: the act of breaking and entering an inhabited structure (as a house) esp. at night with intent to commit a felony (as murder or larceny); also: the act of entering or remaining unlawfully (as after closing to the public) in a building with intent to commit a crime (as a felony)
◇ The crime of burglary was originally defined under the common law to protect people, since there were other laws (as those defining larceny and trespass) that protected property. State laws have broadened the common-law crime. Entering at night is often no longer required and may be considered an aggravating factor. The building may be something other than a dwelling, such as a store or pharmacy. Some states (as Louisiana) have included vehicles under their burglary statute. There are degrees of burglary, and some of the usual aggravating factors are the presence of people and use of a deadly weapon.
bur·glar·i·ous /ˌbər-'glar-ē-əs/ adj

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

I noun breaking and entering, crime, effractura, felony, filching, forcible entry, furtum, housebreaking, illegality, larceny, lawlessness, looting, marauding, pilfering, pillaging, plunderage, plundering, prowling, purloinment, raiding, robbery, robbing, spoiling, stealing, theft, thievery, unlawful act, unlawful breaking and entering, unlawfulness associated concepts: burglar's tools, burglary insurance, common law burglary, receiving stolen goods, robbery, statutory burglary II index housebreaking, theft

Burton's Legal Thesaurus. . 2006

Under common law, breaking into and entering a dwelling at night intending to commit a felony once inside; under modern statutes, the definition has expanded to include all buildings, not just dwellings, and to require that the actor must merely enter the building instead of breaking into it, and must intend to commit any crime, not just a felony; the crime involved is usually theft.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.

in English criminal law, the crime of entering any building or part of a building or inhabited vehicle or vessel as a trespasser with the intent to steal or rape or commit grievous bodily harm or doing unlawful damage. It is still burglary if, having entered as a trespasser, the accused attempts to steal or inflict personal injury. It is an aggravation to carry additional weapons, particularly firearms, whether real or artificial, or explosives. For Scotland, See housebreaking.

Collins dictionary of law. . 2001.

The crime of entering a building with the intent to commit a crime. Old definitions required that the entering be accompanied by a "breaking," by forcing one's way in or by any pnysical act that allows entry; and that the crime intended be a felony. Modern statutes are less restrictive. For instance, someone would be guilty of burglary if he entered a house through an unlocked door in order to commit a murder (a felony) or to steal a bicycle (probably a misdemeanor). (See also: felony, misdemeanor)
Category: Criminal Law
Category: Small Claims Court & Lawsuits

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

1 n. The common-law offense of forcibly entering a dwelling at night to commit a felony therein.
2 v. Under many modern statutes, the act of breaking and entering into any building at any time with the intent to commit a felony (or, in some states, a felony or petit larceny and, in other states, any crime) therein.
See also larceny, robbery.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.

The criminal offense of breaking and entering a building illegally for the purpose of committing a crime.

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.

The criminal offense of breaking and entering a building illegally for the purpose of committing a crime.
II The act of illegal entry with the intent to steal.

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

   the crime of breaking and entering into a structure for the purpose of committing a crime. No great force is needed (pushing open a door or slipping through an open window is sufficient) if the entry is unauthorized. Contrary to common belief, a burglary is not necessarily for theft. It can apply to any crime, such as assault or sexual harassment, whether the intended criminal act is committed or not. Originally under English common law burglary was limited to entry in residences at night, but it has been expanded to all criminal entries into any building, or even into a vehicle.
   See also: breaking and entering

Law dictionary. . 2013.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • burglary — bur‧glar‧y [ˈbɜːgləri ǁ ˈbɜːr ] noun burglaries PLURALFORM [countable, uncountable] LAW the crime of entering a building illegally and stealing things: • The figures show that household burglary rose by 17%. * * * burglary UK US /ˈbɜːgləri/ noun… …   Financial and business terms

  • Burglary — Bur gla*ry, n.; pl. {Burglaries}. [Fr. {Burglar}; cf. LL. burglaria.] (Law) Breaking and entering the dwelling house of another, in the nighttime, with intent to commit a felony therein, whether the felonious purpose be accomplished or not.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • burglary — c.1200, Anglo L. burglaria (see BURGLAR (Cf. burglar)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • burglary — *theft, larceny, robbery …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • burglary — [n] stealing from residence, business break in, breaking and entering, caper, crime, filching, heist, housebreaking, larceny, owl job*, pilferage, prowl, robbery, safecracking, second story work*, sting, theft, thieving; concept 139 …   New thesaurus

  • burglary — ► NOUN (pl. burglaries) ▪ illegal entry into a building with intent to commit a crime such as theft …   English terms dictionary

  • burglary — [bʉr′glə rē] n. pl. burglaries [ BURGLAR + Y4] 1. the act of breaking into a house at night to commit theft or other felony 2. the act of breaking into any building at any time to commit theft, some other felony, or a misdemeanor SYN. THEFT …   English World dictionary

  • Burglary — Burglar redirects here. For the comedy film, see Burglar (film). Criminal law …   Wikipedia

  • burglary — At common law, the crime of burglary consisted of a breaking and entering of a dwelling house of another in the nighttime with the intent to commit a felony therein. The modern statutory definitions of the crime are much less restrictive. For… …   Black's law dictionary

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