"malicious burning of property," 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"). The Old English term was bærnet, literally "burning;" and Coke (1640) has indictment of burning.
updated on September 25, 2022
Dictionary entries near arson