Law. the malicious burning of another’s house or property, or in some statutes, the burning of one’s own house or property, as to collect insurance.
(criminal law) the act of intentionally or recklessly setting fire to another’s property or to one’s own property for some improper reason

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” (see ash (n.1)). The Old English term was bærnet, literally “burning;” and Coke has indictment of burning (1640).


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