An infringement is a minor offense that involves breaking a rule or a law. If your sister takes a chapter from your book and publishes it as her own, you could sue her for copyright infringement.

An infringement can result in legal penalties if you’re breaking a law, as in the case of a copyright infringement or a patent infringement. An infringement can also be a violation of a rule or an agreement that applies in a specific situation. In that case there are no legal consequences, but there are still penalties. If the referee sees an infringement of the rules during your soccer game, he’ll penalize your team by awarding your opponents a free kick.

Definitions of infringement
  1. noun
    an act that disregards an agreement or a right
    synonyms: violation
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    copyright infringement, infringement of copyright
    a violation of the rights secured by a copyright
    an act that violates the rules of a sport
    patent infringement
    violation of the rights secured by a patent
    foul ball
    (baseball) a ball struck with the bat so that it does not stay between the lines (the foul lines) that define the width of the playing field
    piracy, plagiarisation, plagiarism, plagiarization
    the act of plagiarizing; taking someone's words or ideas as if they were your own
    personal foul
    a foul that involves unnecessarily rough contact (as in basketball or football)
    technical, technical foul
    (basketball) a foul that can be assessed on a player or a coach or a team for unsportsmanlike conduct; does not usually involve physical contact during play
    type of:
    actus reus, misconduct, wrongdoing, wrongful conduct
    activity that transgresses moral or civil law
  2. noun
    a crime less serious than a felony
    synonyms: infraction, misdemeanor, misdemeanour, violation
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    breach of the peace, disorderly behavior, disorderly conduct, disturbance of the peace
    any act of molesting, interrupting, hindering, agitating, or arousing from a state of repose or otherwise depriving inhabitants of the peace and quiet to which they are entitled
    false pretence, false pretense
    (law) an offense involving intent to defraud and false representation and obtaining property as a result of that misrepresentation
    indecent exposure, public nudity
    vulgar and offensive nakedness in a public place
    bearing false witness, lying under oath, perjury
    criminal offense of making false statements under oath
    an illegal action inciting resistance to lawful authority and tending to cause the disruption or overthrow of the government
    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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