I was wondering whether “criminalistic” is the correct word to use in this sentence:

“Even though many believe he was a villain for being an apparent corrupt criminalistic politician, Augustus, formally known as Octavian ...”

I have done multiple searches but I don't really understand what they are saying. Here is the website I was looking at https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/criminalistic .If it’s not the right word can you please suggest some alternatives?

What I'm basically trying to say is that people have said he was a “corrupt politician” and “rose to power by criminal methods”, but when I type criminalistic into word it tries to change it to “criminalistics” and obviously that’s not the right word to use.

  • What's the difference between corrupt and criminalistic? "Rose to power by criminal means" seems to me different from performing public duties in a corrupt manner. "Inclined toward criminality" may be more suggestive of these differences.
    – Xanne
    Aug 7, 2017 at 5:38
  • 1
    I know someone whose native language is Russian, who tends to use (and make up) words like "criminalistic" in place of the simpler English usage of "criminal"--a noun also used as an adjective.
    – GEdgar
    Oct 8, 2017 at 11:32
  • I would interpret "criminalistic", in most contexts, to mean "behaving like a criminal".
    – Hot Licks
    May 6, 2018 at 19:53

3 Answers 3


According to Merriam-Webster online criminalistics means

[The] application of scientific techniques in collecting and analyzing physical evidence in criminal cases

And in the UK it's called forensics. Whereas criminalistic means

tending to criminality

So your Word grammar/spell checker is not being helpful as criminalistic is a word in its own right.

It might be clearer to say in your sentence what you said in attempting to clarify what you're asking. Something like this perhaps:

...many believe he was a villain because he was a corrupt politician who rose to power through criminal methods...

(I've left out "apparent" because I'm not sure it's necessary, or maybe another word might be better if you are saying that he was clearly corrupt and/or clearly used criminal methods.)


Either it is apparent that he is or he is apparently.

Either way, criminalistic instead of criminal is a stretch too far.

There are circumstances in which an apparent… politician might be acceptable and this isn’t one.


“Even though many believe he was a politician known for his felonious talents, Augustus, formally known as Octavian ... "



Relating to or involved in crime.
‘They turned their felonious talents to the smuggling trade’

illegal, illicit, lawbreaking, illegitimate, against the law

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.