crime

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(an) accessory to (some crime)

Someone who knowingly incites or assists in the commission of some crime without direct participation. He was found guilty of murder, while his wife was found guilty of being accessory to murder due to her involvement in luring the victim to the abandoned warehouse. If they find out you helped steal the getaway car, you'll be tried as an accessory to the robbery! Yes, I'm Wild Bob's brother, but I'm not an accessory to his crime, I swear. I has no idea he was planning to rob a bank until I saw it on the news!
See also: accessory, to

be done for (something)

To be apprehended for some crime or wrongdoing. Primarily heard in UK. I know you want your stuff back, but you'll get done for stealing if someone catches you breaking into his flat!
See also: done, for

crime doesn't pay

proverb Ultimately, crime does not benefit the criminal, and only results in negative consequences. The billboards are designed as reminders that even minor fraud convictions carry serious consequences—crime doesn't pay.
See also: crime, pay

Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.

Do not commit a crime or misbehave if you are unprepared or unwilling to accept the consequences should you be caught. A: "Yikes, I just heard Tom is going to prison for eight years for committing burglary." B: "I have no sympathy for him. Don't do the crime if you can't do the time." A: "Dad, you can't ground me for a month—I need to see my friends!" B: "Yeah, well, you're the one who keeps breaking curfew. Don't do the crime if you can't do the time!"
See also: crime, if

go on (some kind of) spree

To do something to an excessive degree, usually in an impulsive manner. A: "Every time Henry gets paid, he seems to go on a spending spree." B: "Right? He always shows up at work in a beautiful new designer suit within days of payday." Prior to his arrest, the man went on a crime spree across the state and burglarized 57 houses.
See also: go, kind, on, spree

if you can't do the time, don't do the crime

Do not commit a crime or misbehave if you are unprepared or unwilling to accept the repercussions should you be caught. A: "Dad, I can't be grounded for a month, I need to see my friends!" B: "Yeah, well, you're the one who keeps breaking curfew. If you can't do the time, don't do the crime!" A: "Yikes, I just heard Tom is going to prison for eight years for committing burglary." B: "I have no sympathy for him. If you can't do the time, don't do the crime."
See also: crime, if

it's no crime to (do something)

It is no great offense to do something; it is not wrong, unlawful, or immoral to do something. I wouldn't worry about quitting your job. After all, it's no crime to want a career you love! I know you feel guilty about breaking up with Steve, but it's no crime to fall out of love with someone.
See also: crime, no, to

It's not the crime, it's the cover-up.

cliché The act of concealing the evidence of a crime can be more incriminating than the crime itself. In the grand scheme of things, the former governor's tax scheme probably wouldn't have led to his ouster, but the fact that he destroyed hundreds of documents to obstruct justice sealed his fate. It's not the crime, it's the cover-up, as they say.
See also: not

let the punishment fit the crime

set phrase The punishment given should be equal to the offense done. A: "Mom! I only snuck out a couple of times." B: "Yes, completely betraying our trust! So let the punishment fit the crime—you're grounded for three months, with no car or phone privileges." Let the punishment fit the crime. If Tiff did in fact start that nasty rumor about you, stop being friends with her. I mean, how can you trust her ever again?
See also: crime, fit, let, punishment

partner in crime

1. One who aids or accompanies someone in crimes or nefarious actions. Once the CFO and CEO were revealed to be partners in crime, they were both fired for their involvement in the embezzling scandal.
2. By extension, one's close friend or confidant. If Seth is here, Jimmy can't be far behind—those two are partners in crime.
See also: crime, partner

perfect crime

cliché A crime planned or executed in such a way that one will never be caught or punished for it. The computer virus will wipe out their security systems so that we can't be detected entering the building. Then, after we've made off with the goods, the virus destroys itself, so there's no evidence of who planted it. It's the perfect crime! They left no paper trail of any kind, organizing all the transactions using pay phones dotted around the city. It was a perfect crime, really—totally untraceable.
See also: crime, perfect

poverty is no crime

proverb A person should not be regarded as inferior or culpable simply because they are economically disadvantaged. A: "The legislation I am proposing would restrict homeless people to a specific block in the east side of the city." B: "Poverty is no crime, Senator. These are people—you can't expect us to treat them like pests!"
See also: crime, no, poverty

poverty is not a crime

proverb A person should not be regarded as inferior or culpable simply because they are economically disadvantaged. A: "The legislation I am proposing would restrict homeless people to a specific block in the east side of the city." B: "Poverty is not a crime, Senator. These are people—you can't expect us to treat them like pests!"
See also: crime, not, poverty

the punishment fits the crime

The punishment given is equal to the offense done. A: "Mom! I only snuck out a couple of times." B: "Yes, completely betraying our trust! You're grounded for three months, with no car or phone privileges—I think the punishment fits the crime." If you stop being friends with Tiff because she started that nasty rumor about you, I'd say the punishment definitely fits the crime. I mean, how can you trust her ever again?
See also: crime, fit, punishment

the weed of crime bears bitter fruit

Illegal, immoral, or illicit schemes will only every yield bad outcomes. While sentencing the three CEOs following their conviction, the judge said he wanted to make it clear to the whole country that the weed of crime bears bitter fruits.
See also: bear, bitter, crime, fruit, of, weed
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

Crime doesn't pay.

Prov. Crime will ultimately not benefit a person. No matter how tempting it may appear, crime doesn't pay.
See also: crime, pay

partners in crime

 
1. Fig. persons who cooperate in committing a crime or a deception. (Usually an exaggeration.) The sales manager and the used-car salesmen are nothing but partners in crime.
2. persons who cooperate in some legal task. The legal department and payroll are partners in crime as far as the average worker is concerned.
See also: crime, partner

Poverty is not a crime.

 and Poverty is no sin.
Prov. You should not condemn someone for being poor. Ellen: I wish there were a law to make all those poor people move out of our neighborhood. Jim: Poverty is not a crime, Ellen.
See also: crime, not, poverty
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

crime does not pay

Lawbreakers do not benefit from their actions. For example, Steve didn't think it mattered that he stole a candy bar, but he's learned the hard way that crime does not pay . This maxim, originating as a slogan of the F.B.I. and given wide currency by the cartoon character Dick Tracy, was first recorded in 1927. There have been numerous jocular plays on it, as in Woody Allen's screenplay for Take the Money and Run (1969): "I think crime pays. The hours are good, you travel a lot."
See also: crime, does, not, pay
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

someone's partner in crime

Someone's partner in crime is a person that they do something with. My evening begins with watching possibly the worst romance I've ever seen, with my movie partner in crime, Monique. He presented his last programme with partner in crime Will Anderson last Friday. Note: This expression is often used humorously.
See also: crime, partner
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

the weed of crime bears bitter fruit

No good will come from criminal schemes. The Shadow was a very popular radio detective series that began in the early 1930s. Its hero, playboy Lamont Cranston, had “the power to cloud men's minds,” a form of hypnosis by which he appeared off to the side of where people thought he stood (contrary to popular belief, the Shadow did not make himself invisible). After the credits at the end of every episode, the Shadow intoned, “The weed of crime bears bitter fruit. Crime does not pay! The Shadow knows,” and then utter a sardonic laugh. Another famous Shadow-ism was “Who knows what evil lurks in the minds of men?—The Shadow knows!”
See also: bear, bitter, crime, fruit, of, weed
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price
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