breach of the peace

EnglishEdit

NounEdit

breach of the peace (plural breaches of the peace)

  1. (law) The legal offense of engaging in public behavior which is violent, rowdy, or disruptive.
    • 1823, James Fenimore Cooper, The Pioneers, ch. 32:
      [T]he sheriff turned his eyes again. . . . "What have we here?" he cried; "two men boxing! Has there been a breach of the peace?"
    • 1938 May 16, "Jamaica: Riot Act," Time:
      Short of high treason, the gravest form of breach of the peace known to British law is riot.
    • 2003 Oct. 24, Aban Contractor et al., "Why a world leader used the servants' entrance," Sydney Morning Herald (retrieved 6 Oct 2012):
      Four men and a woman were arrested and charged with breaches of the peace after a series of scuffles in which protesters and police received minor injuries.
  2. (by extension) Any public disturbance or disorderly behavior.
    • 1898, George Gissing, The Town Traveller, ch. 20:
      Polly's suspicions were louder, her temper became uncertain; once or twice she forgot herself and used language calculated to cause a breach of the peace.
    • 1912, Irving Bacheller, ‘Charge It’, ch. 14:
      Then, suddenly, the singing fell upon us and broke the silence into ruins. It was in the nature of a breach of the peace.
    • 2009 April 2, Jasper Gerard, "Bucolic Britain is stirring," The Telegraph (UK) (retrieved 6 Oct 2012):
      My rural ride continues, and on a gloriously balmy day in Worth Matravers the only obvious sign of a breach of the peace is a flock of geese lolloping out of the pond, on to the lane.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

Last modified on 17 June 2013, at 23:36