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Felonious is a word used to qualify something as relating to a felony. It qualifies the subject of the sentence as being eligible for the imposition of a felony conviction. For example, in the context of assault, an aggravated assault (such as one with intent to murder) is felonious, whereas a simple assault (such as one with intent to frighten) is not felonious. 

More examples of the usage of this term include, but are not limited to: 

  • “Felonious conduct"
  • “Felonious mindset”
  • “Felonious action”
  • “Felonious habit”
  • “Felonious tendency”
  • “Felonious assault”

The term is used colloquially and in non-legal dictionaries to refer to anything relating to or involving a crime, felony or not. However, this usage is incorrect. The term is only appropriately used when referring to something that relates to or qualifies as a felony crime, not a misdemeanor or infraction

[Last updated in October of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]