Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An act of undervaluing or disdaining; scorn; contempt.
  • noun Mistake; error; misunderstanding.
  • noun In law: Criminal neglect in respect to the crime of another: used especially in connection with felonies and treason, to indicate a passive complicity, as by concealment, which falls short of the guilt of a principal or accessory.
  • noun More loosely, any grave offense or misdemeanor having no recognized fixed name, as maladministration in an office of public trust: also termed positive misprision, as distinguished from negative misprision, or mere neglect or concealment.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Archaic The act of misprising; misapprehension; misconception; mistake.
  • noun obsolete Neglect; undervaluing; contempt.
  • noun (Law) A neglect, negligence, or contempt.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun law Criminal neglect of duty or wrongful execution of official duties.
  • noun Misinterpretation or misunderstanding.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Anglo-Norman mesprison, mesprisioun et al., from mespris + -ion.

Examples

  • The most familiar and popular use of the term misprision describes the failure to report a crime ....

    It's Called, "Misprison of a Felony." And it's a felony too.

  • If you conceal information, then it becomes what we call misprision of a felony.

    CNN Transcript Oct 14, 2009

  • The former almost certainly accounts for Steiner's fondness for the word misprision

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol II No 2

  • Friday he became the first person to be formally charged - also with "misprision" - since the wave of arrests following the coup bid.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • A qualm, indeed, came across him, when he considered, as a lawyer, that this father was probably, in the eye of law, a traitor; and that there was an ugly crime on the Statute Book, called misprision of treason.

    Redgauntlet

  • The root meaning is “mistake”; misprision comes from the French mesprendre, with prendre meaning “to take.”

    No Uncertain Terms

  • The root meaning is “mistake”; misprision comes from the French mesprendre, with prendre meaning “to take.”

    No Uncertain Terms

  • The root meaning is “mistake”; misprision comes from the French mesprendre, with prendre meaning “to take.”

    No Uncertain Terms

  • The root meaning is “mistake”; misprision comes from the French mesprendre, with prendre meaning “to take.”

    No Uncertain Terms

  • A bill was passed disfranchising all such persons as had voluntarily stayed in neighbourhoods occupied by the British troops; their offence was called misprision of treason.

    The Critical Period of American History

Comments

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  • (n.) - error, wrongdoing; a misunderstanding in which one thing is taken for another. "A term used by Harold Bloom to describe the process by which strong writers misread or misinterpret their literary predecessors so as to clear imaginative space for themselves. According to Bloom, every poem is a misprision or misconstrual of a hypothetical parent poem."

    December 12, 2008

  • Neglect or violation of official duty; misconduct. Failure to report or prevent a serious crime.

    August 28, 2009

  • Curious about the tag—this isn't misspelled. (It looks like it is, though, which is partly why I like it so much.)

    August 28, 2009

  • I presume the "oops" tag refers to SeanCroft's definition - "error, wrongdoing". Sometimes I say oops when I make a mistake. Other times I cuss a blue streak.

    August 28, 2009

  • "This kind of thing—a Dutchman from 1800 speaking English like Bill Sikes—goes with the fictional territory, I suppose, and Mitchell, to be fair, is alert to the misprision of translation and cultural transmission: the book has many scenes in which the fumbling Dutchmen and Japanese clink the cracked cups of their different languages together, while meaning leaks away."

    "The Floating Library" by James Wood in the New Yorker, July 5, 2010, p 72

    July 17, 2010

  • With duty and greed in collision

    What think you the Goblin's decision?

    His honor's a pittance

    That's sent in remittance

    For grand enough deeds of misprision.

    April 7, 2017