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In flagrante delicto (Latin: "in the blazing [progressing] offence [misdeed]") or sometimes simply in flagrante (Latin: "while blazing [during]") is a legal term used to indicate that a criminal has been caught in the act of committing an offence (compare corpus delicti). The colloquial "caught red-handed" or "caught rapid" are English equivalents.

Like many instances of the ablative case in Latin, the expression does not have a simple translation into English. The root phrase is the adjective flagrāns (flaming or blazing) and the noun dēlictum (offence, misdeed or crime). The closest literal translation would be "with the offence blazing", where "blazing" is a metaphor for vigorous, highly visible action.

French Economist Frederic Bastiat, in his "Parable of the Broken Window" (a satire regarding those who would say that economic benefits accrue to the community because of the new transactions that are "created" upon the breaking of a window), said that "this formula of condolence contains a whole theory that it is a good idea for us to expose, flagrante delicto, in this very simple case...."

The Latin term is sometimes used colloquially as a euphemism for a couple being caught in the act of sexual intercourse, as it is used in the film Clue; in modern usage the intercourse need not be adulterous or illicit.

In Brazilian Portuguese, "em flagrante" is widely used, and has the same meaning. A common colloquial variant used in Brazil is being caught "no flagra"—in the act. In Italian language "in flagrante" is used with the same meaning. In French the phrase "en flagrant délit" is used, and in Spanish the form "in fraganti" is widely used colloquially.


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