Find the word definition

Crossword clues for delict

The Collaborative International Dictionary

Delict \De*lict"\, n. [L. delictum fault.] (Law) An offense or transgression against law; (Scots Law) an offense of a lesser degree; a misdemeanor.

Every regulation of the civil code necessarily implies a delict in the event of its violation.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1520s, from Latin delictum "fault, offense, crime," neuter singular of past participle of delinquere (see delinquent). Phrase in flagrant delict translates Latin in flagrante delicto.


n. 1 (context civil law Scottish law English) A wrongful act, analogous to a tort in common law. (from the early 16th c.) 2 (context legal English) The branch of law dealing in delicts.


Delict (from Latin dēlictum, past participle of dēlinquere ‘to be at fault, offend’) is a term in civil law jurisdictions for a civil wrong consisting of an intentional or negligent breach of duty of care that inflicts loss or harm and which triggers legal liability for the wrongdoer; however, its meaning varies from one jurisdiction to another. Other civil wrongs include breach of contract and breach of trust. Liability is imposed on the basis of moral responsibility, i.e. a duty of care or to act, and fault (culpa) is the main element of liability. The term is used in mixed legal systems such as Scotland, South Africa, Louisiana and the Philippines, but tort is the equivalent legal term used in common law jurisdictions.

The exact meaning of delict varies between legal systems but it is always centred on the Roman law idea of wrongful conduct.

In Spanish law, ''delito '' is any breach of criminal law (similar to criminal offence). In Italian law, delitto penale is the same concept, but delitto civile, like delict in Scots law, is an intentional or negligent act which gives rise to a legal obligation between parties even though there has been no contract between them, akin to common-law tort. German-speaking countries use the word Delikt to refer to criminality (similar to English deliquency), but unerlaubte Handlung is a delict while Deliktsrecht is a branch of civil law (similar to tort law). In French law, délit penal is a misdemeanor (between contravention ‘petty offence’ and crime ‘felony; major indictable offence’), while délit civil, again, is a tort. Because of this, French law prefers to speak in terms of responsabilité civile ‘delictual liability’.

Delict (Scots law)

Delict in Scots Law is, amongst other things, the responsibility to make reparation caused by breach of a duty of care or, arguably, the duty to refrain from committing such breaches. The equivalent in English law and other common law jurisdictions is known as tort law.