Word of the Day: Arson

By Daniel Scocco

Arson (är’sən) is the crime of voluntarily burning the house or property of another person. Burning your own house with a malicious purpose is also considered arson. Finally, the person who commits this crime is called arsonist.

Matthew Cloyd, 20, and Benjamin Moseley and Russell DeBusk, both 19, face a hearing in federal court here today on arson and conspiracy charges. (USAToday.com)

The deadly fire at Angeles National Forest is renewing a push from California lawmakers for a national registry of convicted arsonists. (Houston Chronicle)

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4 Responses to “Word of the Day: Arson”

  • Cindy Cotter

    How about “arson” as an adjective as in “It was an arson fire.” There are situations in which a noun can be used as a modifier… “He is a burglary suspect,” or “She was a homicide victim,” but “arson fire just doesn’t sound right to me.

  • Maeve

    Cindy,
    Nor to me. One can say “the fire was arson,” but “the arson fire” is a nail scraper!

  • Amazing Blair

    I would love to see the etymology of your Words of the Day. I never look up a word in the dictionary without checking to see its derivation, which is always fascinating, especially if they can trace it back to the Indo-European roots, or the equivalent in another language family.

    Please consider adding an etymology section to your Word of the Day feature. It’ll make a good thing better. Thanks!

  • Suzanne Ouimet

    I hate it when I see something like this – “He is the suspected arson.” A person cannot be an arson.

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