American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Improper and unlawful execution of an act that in itself is lawful and proper.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In law: A trespass; a wrong done
- n. In modern use, more specifically, the misuse of power; misbehavior in office; the wrongful and injurious exercise of lawful authority, as distinguished from malfeasance and nonfeasance. This word is often carelessly used in the sense of malfeasance.
- n. A wrong that arises from an action. The wrong can be actual or alleged. This word is often used in law, relating to the wrongful use of legal authority.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Law) A trespass; a wrong arising from an overt act; the improper doing of an act which a person might lawfully do.
- n. doing a proper act in a wrongful or injurious manner
- From mis- + feasance (Wiktionary)
- Anglo-Norman mesfesaunce, from mesfere, to do wrong : mes-, wrongly (from Old French; see mis-1) + fere, to do (from Latin facere; see dhē- in Indo-European roots). (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Attorney General Eric Holder on Sunday said he had dispatched Justice Department officials to the Gulf Coast to determine whether there had been any "misfeasance" or "malfeasance" related to the leaking oil rig off the Gulf of Mexico.”
“Also, when people come in to start a recall and I show them the legal definitions of 'misfeasance' and 'malfeasance,' that usually stops it right there.”
“Because I knew in beginning this book that I would be reporting on what Mr. Galbraith calls "misfeasance," I knew I owed it to the others named in the book — some who were my friends, and some who weren't — to report on my own misfeasance as well.”
“A councilman may also be removed for violation of general state law, such as misfeasance or malfeasance.”
“They are suing Allen, then the most senior officer in MI6 responsible for counter-terrorism, alleging "complicity in torture" and "misfeasance in public office".”
“Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher notes, "I believe what is restraining our economy is not monetary policy but fiscal misfeasance in Washington.”
“It might well retard job creation, should it give rise to inflationary expectations or, worse, imply that, having suffered the slings and arrows of popular and political contempt as we went about doing what we did to save the financial system, we have now been compromised and become a pliant accomplice to Congress's and the executive branch's fiscal misfeasance.”
“Here's guessing that good ol' miscalculation, rather than misfeasance, will turn out to be the real culprit in the firm's collapse.”
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