To compound a felony
Felony Fel"o*ny, n.; pl. {Felonies}. [OE. felonie cruelty, OF. felonie, F. f['e]lonie treachery, malice. See {Felon}, n.] 1. (Feudal Law) An act on the part of the vassal which cost him his fee by forfeiture. --Burrill. [1913 Webster]

2. (O.Eng.Law) An offense which occasions a total forfeiture either lands or goods, or both, at the common law, and to which capital or other punishment may be added, according to the degree of guilt. [1913 Webster]

3. A heinous crime; especially, a crime punishable by death or imprisonment. [1913 Webster]

Note: Forfeiture for crime having been generally abolished in the United States, the term felony, in American law, has lost this point of distinction; and its meaning, where not fixed by statute, is somewhat vague and undefined; generally, however, it is used to denote an offense of a high grade, punishable either capitally or by a term of imprisonment. In Massachusetts, by statute, any crime punishable by death or imprisonment in the state prison, and no other, is a felony; so in New York. the tendency now is to obliterate the distinction between felonies and misdemeanors; and this has been done partially in England, and completely in some of the States of the Union. The distinction is purely arbitrary, and its entire abolition is only a question of time. [1913 Webster]

Note: There is no lawyer who would undertake to tell what a felony is, otherwise than by enumerating the various kinds of offenses which are so called. originally, the word felony had a meaning: it denoted all offenses the penalty of which included forfeiture of goods; but subsequent acts of Parliament have declared various offenses to be felonies, without enjoining that penalty, and have taken away the penalty from others, which continue, nevertheless, to be called felonies, insomuch that the acts so called have now no property whatever in common, save that of being unlawful and purnishable. --J. S. Mill. [1913 Webster]

{To compound a felony}. See under {Compound}, v. t. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • To compound a felony — Compound Com*pound (k[o^]m*pound ), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Compounded}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Compounding}.] [OE. componen, compounen, L. componere, compositum; com + ponere to put set. The d is excrescent. See {Position}, and cf. {Compon[ e]}.] 1. To… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • compound a crime or felony — v. For an injured party to agree not to prosecute the person who has committed the crime against him or her in exchange for some payment. The Essential Law Dictionary. Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. Amy Hackney Blackwell. 2008 …   Law dictionary

  • Compounding a felony — was an offence under the common law of England and was classified as a misdemeanour. It consisted of a prosecutor or victim of an offence accepting anything of value under an agreement not to prosecute, or hamper the prosecution of, a felony.[1]… …   Wikipedia

  • Felony — Fel o*ny, n.; pl. {Felonies}. [OE. felonie cruelty, OF. felonie, F. f[ e]lonie treachery, malice. See {Felon}, n.] 1. (Feudal Law) An act on the part of the vassal which cost him his fee by forfeiture. Burrill. [1913 Webster] 2. (O.Eng.Law) An… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Compound — Com*pound (k[o^]m*pound ), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Compounded}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Compounding}.] [OE. componen, compounen, L. componere, compositum; com + ponere to put set. The d is excrescent. See {Position}, and cf. {Compon[ e]}.] 1. To form or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • compound — is pronounced with stress on the first syllable as a noun and on the second as a verb. To compound a felony in law is to condone it in exchange for some consideration, and does not mean ‘to make (it) worse’. Note also that compound meaning ‘a… …   Modern English usage

  • felony — n. 1) to commit, perpetrate a felony 2) to compound a felony ( to waive prosecution in return for compensation ) * * * [ felənɪ] perpetrate a felony to commit to compound a felony ( to waive prosecution in return for compensation ) …   Combinatory dictionary

  • compound —     News of a crop failure in the northern part of the country will only compound the government s economic and political problems (Times). Several authorities have deplored the use of compound in the sense of worsen, as it is employed above and… …   Dictionary of troublesome word

  • compound — I. adjective /ˈkɒmpaʊnd / (say kompownd) 1. composed of two or more parts, elements, or ingredients, or involving two or more actions, functions, etc.; composite. 2. Grammar (of a word) consisting of two or more parts which are also words,… …   Australian English dictionary

  • compound — compound1 [käm pound′, käm′pound΄; kəm pound′; ] for adj.usually & for n.always [, käm′pound΄] vt. [ME compounen < OFr compon(d)re, to arrange, direct < L componere, to put together: see COMPOSITE] 1. to mix or combine 2. to make by… …   English World dictionary

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