from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Improper and unlawful execution of an act that in itself is lawful and proper.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A trespass; a wrong arising from an overt act; the improper doing of an act which a person might lawfully do.

from The 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.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. doing a proper act in a wrongful or injurious manner


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

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).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From mis- + feasance


  • The army immediately assumed crisis mode and denied any connections between Hasan's religious beliefs and his actions, they summarily dismissed the idea of misfeasance in ignoring warnings of a potential fifth columnist in their midst, and they are now instructing high level officers to sing from the Political correctness hymnbook as General Casey now yammers on about the glories of diversity and that this is the strength of our great republic.


  • 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.

    U.S. Considers 'Malfeasance' in Leak

  • "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."

    Archive 2003-08-01

  • 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.


  • Mr Justice Sweeney that the action by Malcolm, who alleges "misfeasance" in public office and a breach of his human rights, was not "trivial".


  • A councilman may also be removed for violation of general state law, such as misfeasance or malfeasance.

    Parkersburg News and Sentinel

  • They are suing Allen, then the most senior officer in MI6 responsible for counter-terrorism, alleging "complicity in torture" and "misfeasance in public office".

    Syria: UN to hear Arab League proposals - live updates

  • Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher notes, "I believe what is restraining our economy is not monetary policy but fiscal misfeasance in Washington."

    Lydia Fisher: From "Too Big to Fail" Banks to "Too Big to Default" Nations to What's Next?

  • 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.

    Notable & Quotable

  • Here's guessing that good ol' miscalculation, rather than misfeasance, will turn out to be the real culprit in the firm's collapse.

    Hooray, a Financial Firm Fails!


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  • "All and sundry then repair to a nearby tree to commit simony, petty larceny, tergiversation, and misfeasance, evict a few widows and orphans, and enact more laws."

    - Will Cuppy, "The Crow"

    from "How to Tell Your Friends from the Apes"

    March 20, 2009

  • As mentioned in this BBC report.

    September 6, 2007