A felony is a serious crime, like murder, arson, or burglary. Fashion critics may think that wearing white shoes after Labor Day is a felony, but it isn’t really.

A felony is sometimes called a "high crime" because it's so serious. A felony differs from a misdemeanor in the amount of punishment someone gets when convicted. In the United States, a felony is a crime that has a sentence of more than a year in prison. A year or less in jail means the crime is just a misdemeanor. If you're convicted of a felony, even after you serve your time you may be denied certain rights and privileges.

Definitions of felony
  1. noun
    a serious crime (such as murder or arson)
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    capture, seizure
    the act of taking of a person by force
    engaging in a racket
    bribery, graft
    the practice of offering something (usually money) in order to gain an illicit advantage
    larceny, stealing, theft, thievery, thieving
    the act of taking something from someone unlawfully
    the felonious act of extorting money (as by threats of violence)
    entering a building unlawfully with intent to commit a felony or to steal valuable property
    breach of trust with fraudulent intent
    larceny after trust rather than after unlawful taking
    the criminal act of capturing and carrying away by force a family member; if a man's wife is abducted it is a crime against the family relationship and against the wife
    kidnapping, snatch
    (law) the unlawful act of capturing and carrying away a person against their will and holding them in false imprisonment
    the crime of a judge whose judgment is influenced by bribery
    commercial bribery
    bribery of a purchasing agent in order to induce the agent to enter into a transaction
    defalcation, embezzlement, misapplication, misappropriation, peculation
    the fraudulent appropriation of funds or property entrusted to your care but actually owned by someone else
    the act of stealing small amounts or small articles
    shoplifting, shrinkage
    the act of stealing goods that are on display in a store
    larceny by threat of violence
    biological theft; illegal collection of indigenous plants by corporations who patent them for their own use
    grand larceny, grand theft
    larceny of property having a value greater than some amount (the amount varies by locale)
    petit larceny, petty, petty larceny
    larceny of property having a value less than some amount (the amount varies by locale)
    failure to declare income in order to avoid paying taxes on it
    extortion of money by threats to divulge discrediting information
    protection, tribute
    payment extorted by gangsters on threat of violence
    extortion of money (as by blackmail)
    break-in, breaking and entering, housebreaking
    trespassing for an unlawful purpose; illegal entrance into premises with criminal intent
    the stealing of cattle
    type of:
    crime, criminal offence, criminal offense, law-breaking, offence, offense
    (criminal law) an act punishable by law; usually considered an evil act
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