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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
an arson attack (=intended to destroy a building by burning it)
▪ Ten classrooms were completely destroyed in the arson attack.
▪ Richard Fielding, 21, has admitted an arson attack that killed seven members of the same family.
▪ The hut at North Park, Darlington, was destroyed in an arson attack last year.
▪ Who will pay?: Insurance fears after school arson attack.
▪ Party workers have been rallying around since last Thursday night's arson attack which caused tens of thousands worth of damage.
▪ Ten classrooms were gutted in the arson attack, and three fire fighters were treated for smoke inhalation.
▪ It's expected to be some weeks before all the shops damaged in the arson attack can be re-opened.
▪ Read in studio An airman who helped destroy evidence after a twenty million pound arson attack has been fined fifteen hundred pounds.
▪ Following an 8-day trial at Bristol Crown Court, the 3 men were cleared of manslaughter and arson charges.
▪ He was being held on arson charges at Santa Rita Jail.
▪ He ruled it would be inconsistent to consider the arson charge.
▪ Harper, Smith and Winter had denied a joint charge of the manslaughter of the girls, and a joint arson charge.
▪ Pearson, of Tadcaster, admitted three arson charges and asked for eight others to be considered.
▪ Seven men, all from Bristol, admitted conspiracy to commit arson.
▪ Last month Duriez and Tibbles was found guilty of conspiracy to commit arson.
▪ In Newcastle-upon-Tyne an eight-year-old is found stealing cars, committing arson and assaulting teachers.
▪ Brooks was arrested for arson in North Carolina.
▪ Police are treating the fire as a case of arson.
▪ Bedford Correctional Facility after serving 10 years for arson, &.
▪ Fire experts still haven't ruled out arson.
▪ I was also fairly sure we would find ample evidence of their connections to the increased arson and bombing attacks on clinics.
▪ Last month Duriez and Tibbles was found guilty of conspiracy to commit arson.
▪ Read in studio A school fire in Buckinghamshire which has caused fifty thousand pounds damage is being treated as arson.
▪ The group said that 15 of the arson fires remain unsolved.
▪ There were riots, arson, and killings.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Arson \Ar"son\ ([aum]r"s'n; 277), n. [OF. arson, arsun, fr. L. ardere, arsum, to burn.] (Law) The malicious burning of a dwelling house or outhouse of another man, which by the common law is felony; the malicious and voluntary firing of a building or ship.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1670s, from Anglo-French arsoun (late 13c.), Old French arsion, from Late Latin arsionem (nominative arsio) "a burning," noun of action from past participle stem of Latin ardere "to burn," from PIE root *as- "to burn, glow" (see ash (n.1)). The Old English term was bærnet, literally "burning;" and Coke has indictment of burning (1640).


n. 1 (context uncountable English) The crime of setting a fire with intent to cause damage. 2 (context countable English) An instance of such a crime.


n. malicious burning to destroy property; "the British term for arson is fire-raising" [syn: incendiarism, fire-raising]


Arson is the crime of intentionally, deliberately and maliciously setting fire to buildings, wildland areas, dumpsters, vehicles or other property with the intent to cause damage. It may be distinguished from other causes such as spontaneous combustion and natural wildfires. Arson often involves fires deliberately set to the property of another or to one's own property so as to collect insurance compensation.

A person who commits this crime is called an arsonist. More often than not, arsonists use accelerants (such as gasoline or kerosene) to ignite, propel, and directionalize fires.

Arson (disambiguation)

Arson is the act of deliberately setting fire to buildings, vehicles, or other property, with the intent to cause damage and/or injury.

Arson may also refer to:

  • Nicholaus Arson (born 1977), guitarist and backup vocalist of The Hives
  • "Arson" a song on the album Fate of Norns by Amon Amarth

Usage examples of "arson".

Carson saw the two county arson investigators out the front door of the admin offices and went back to his own office.

His attempts to impose real disciplinethe firm foundation of which any army needs must be builton the rascally galloglaiches and the unhung criminals who were known as bonaghts had resulted ultimately in mutinies, murders and attempted murders, and arson.

English on one half and neat, round Burmese on the other, that five thousand rupees were offered for the capture, dead or alive, of one Boh Lu-Bain, convicted of dacoity, with murder, robbery under arms, arson, and an appalling list of subsidiary crimes.

Arson investigators and bomb technicians from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms are sifting through the rubble in an effort to -- John Michael Fowles was disappointed that the article was on page three, but decided not to show it.

The following is an extreme example, as the haunter proceeded to arson.

Had Oyama exploited Haru, or had Haru used sex to serve her ambitions --- then committed murder and arson when her ploy failed?

Dostoyevsky, the news item, whether it was a crime of passion, a vast confidence trick or financial catastrophe, a scandalous verdict, a personal or collective attempt at arson, a suicide caused by despair or ideology, a train crash, children plotting against their father, or the numerous cases of ill-treated children, had its roots deep in changeable reality and its appalling or amazing oddity revealed the subterranean upheavals of society.

By the time Sir Thomas More wrote his biography of Richard, in the reign of Henry the Eighth, Richard was being accused of everything but barratry and arson.

Calabria wheedling, remonstrating, cajoling and patronizing the new master by turns, now for his misguided notions of fairness in dealing with the striking miners, now for the uses of influence in getting ahead, breaking off for a highly theatrical interlude of mugging and arson and here came the playful glissando again as new comic possibilities emerged in the parade of petty thieves, rumpots, fugitives from wives and creditors and a brace of Chippewa Indians being cursorily questioned, pummeled, browbeaten, paid and fleeced as recruits for the Union army by the mine manager in his time away from raising stores of vermifuges, decorative sabres, trusses and mule feed cut with sand in the patriotic cause.

Just sit in the tub and forget arson, pyros, Latino thugs, Irish gangsters, and lovers with enigmatic attitudes.

Washington that-Steven Steinbock was burned up in an arson fire at a trading post and had all kinds of magical, mystical legends attached to it?

Then he went to the cell, and while Hamish took notes, he charged Finlay Swithers with attempted murder and arson.

It reported that Matthew Bowditch, out of the goodness of his white Yankee liberal heart, had volunteered to design a new church for a congregation of Korean Methodists whose church had been ruined in a racist arson attack.

Section A, Page 2 Late-Breaking News Roundup: CHICAGO--Chicago police are investigating an arson fire which completely destroyed the residence of Chicagoan columnist Mike Lunagan early this mora-ing.

The use of magnesium flares in the arson work at United Recovery had given him the inkling that crooks had already made a secret deal in magnesium.