Words related to felon
a 16c. Latinizing revision of the spelling of Middle English fecond, fecound (early 15c.), from Old French fecond, fecont "fruitful" and directly from Latin fecundus "fruitful, fertile, productive; rich, abundant," from *fe-kwondo-, suffixed form (adjectival) of PIE root *dhe(i)- "to suck, suckle," with derivatives meaning also "produce, yield."
Also from the same Latin root come felare "to suck;" femina "woman" (literally "she who suckles"); felix "happy, auspicious, fruitful;" fetus "offspring, pregnancy;" fenum "hay" (probably literally "produce"); and probably filia/filius "daughter/son," assimilated from *felios, originally "a suckling."
As a class of crime in common law, also from c. 1300, from Anglo-French. The exact definition changed over time and place, and even the distinction from misdemeanor or trespass is not always observed. In old use often a crime involving forfeiture of lands, goods, or a fee or a crime punishable by death. Variously used in the U.S.; often the sense is "crime punishable by death or imprisonment in a state penitentiary."