If a man plagiarizes by copying from other peoples' work, what do we call the document (e.g. research paper) that he creates based on this, which contains the copied research?

  • 2
    Call it "Exhibit A." Nov 29 '14 at 11:17
  • Plagiarism is not a crime, even though it can be grounds for dismissal for a breach of ethics in several professions, so there is no specific legal word for a work of plagiarism.
    – itsbruce
    Nov 29 '14 at 11:37
  • Is it necessary for there to be a single word for your purposes? Does your language have a single word for this concept?
    – Mitch
    Nov 29 '14 at 12:49
  • @Mitch I can’t answer for Czech, but several languages do in fact have a specific word for items created through plagiarism—English does, too, at least to some extent. Nov 29 '14 at 13:57
  • In Czech, this is called "plagiát" as opposed to "plagiátorství" which is the act of plagiarizing something. Nov 29 '14 at 13:57

As Pickett’s answer says, plagiarism itself can be used in this sense.

If you wish to distinguish between plagiarism (the act or practice of plagiarising content) and the resulting work, however, there is another word which can be called upon: plagiary.

Most dictionaries define plagiary as:

  1. Plagiarist; one that plagiarises
  2. Plagiarism

The first sense is archaic, and noted as such in dictionaries; but the second sense is synonymous with plagiarism. You can use this to deliberately distinguish between the two meanings. A similar double meaning is found for forgery, which can both be the action and the work, but forgery is used more often for the work than the action (where a gerund forging is more prevalent); for this reason, I would suggest using plagiarism for the action, and plagiary for the work.

Note, however, that there is no hard-and-fast distinction between the words, so you’ll have to specify that you are using the words deliberately in this way.

(Side note: the word plagiat does exist in English, too, though it’s very rare and archaic. Don’t use that, though: it means kidnapping in English!)


English does not have a single word that expresses the concept 'the piece of text that was plagiarized'. One might use 'a plagiarism' to attempt to capture this but it would be very infelicitous (it would sound off and would be difficult to understand that way).

The shortest clear way to express it is to say it is with two words:

plagiarized text.

For other media, there are single words. In art, one uses 'fake' ("that painting is a fake"). In music, one can use 'sample' but that word has removed the taboo connotation with stealing.


Plagiarism is a count noun, so you may refer to it by saying for example "yes, that is the plagiarism I was talking about" or "this document is the plagiarism in question". Source.

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