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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Misdemeanor \Mis`de*mean"or\, n.

  1. Ill behavior; evil conduct; fault.

  2. (Law) A crime less than a felony.

    Note: As a rule, in the old English law, offenses capitally punishable were felonies; all other indictable offenses were misdemeanors. In common usage, the word crime is employed to denote the offenses of a deeper and more atrocious dye, while small faults and omissions of less consequence are comprised under the gentler name of misdemeanors.
    --Blackstone. The distinction, however, between felonies and misdemeanors is purely arbitrary, and is in most jurisdictions either abrogated or so far reduced as to be without practical value. Cf. Felony.

    Syn: Misdeed; misconduct; misbehavior; fault; trespass; transgression.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

also misdemeanour, "legal class of indictable offenses," late 15c.; from mis- (1) "wrong" + Middle English demenure (see demeanor). Related: Misdemeanors; misdemeanours.


n. (context legal English) A crime usually punishable upon conviction by a small fine or by a short term of imprisonment. In the USA, misdemeanants usually are incarcerated in county jail for less than one year, but felons usually are incarcerated in state prison for more than one year. Crimes which are punishable by large fines or by longer imprisonment are sometimes called felony.


n. a crime less serious than a felony [syn: misdemeanour, infraction, offence, offense, violation, infringement]


A misdemeanor ( American English) or misdemeanour (British English) is any "lesser" criminal act in some common law legal systems. Misdemeanors are generally punished less severely than felonies, but theoretically more so than administrative infractions (also known as minor, petty, or summary offences) and regulatory offences. Many misdemeanors are punished with monetary fines.

Misdemeanor (UFO album)

Misdemeanor is the twelfth studio album by the British hard rock band UFO. After the disastrous tour supporting Making Contact, UFO disbanded, with Phil Mogg spending time in Los Angeles, where he contacted through Mike Varney guitarist Atomik Tommy M. Mogg decided to start a new band, involving the new American guitarist and Paul Gray, who had played bass guitar in the last UFO tour. The three of them recruited former UFO keyboard player Paul Raymond and drummer Robbie France and started writing new material. Chrysalis Records signed the new band as UFO and assigned experienced producer Nick Tauber for the recording process of a new album. France resigned before the recording started and was replaced by former Magnum drummer Jim Simpson. Paul Raymond quit the band during their US tour in August 1986 and was replaced for the rest of the tour by David Jacobson.

Misdemeanor (Swedish band)

Misdemeanor is a female stoner rock band from Sweden. Its current members are Vera Olofsson (vocals), Jenny Möllberg (guitar), Jenny Lindahl (bass), Sara Fredriksson (guitar), and Mia Möllberg (drums). They released their first 4 song self-titled 7" in 1997.

In 1999, Misdemeanor collaborated with ex- Kyuss vocalist John Garcia, who sang the fourth song, Love Song, on their EP, Five Wheel Drive.

Misdemeanor (Misdemeanor album)

Misdemeanor is the first studio album from Swedish female stoner rock band Misdemeanor.

Misdemeanor (disambiguation)

A misdemeanor is a "lesser" criminal act.

Misdemeanor may also refer to:

  • High misdemeanor, an archaic term in English Law for a number of positive misprisions, neglects and contempts

In music:

  • Misdemeanor (UFO album), by the British rock band UFO
  • Misdemeanor (band), female stoner rock band from Sweden
    • Misdemeanor (Misdemeanor album), the above band's first studio album
  • "Miss Demeanor", a song by Sweet on their album Desolation Boulevard
  • Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott, female American rapper
  • Misdemeanor (Song), song by soul singer Foster Sylvers

Usage examples of "misdemeanor".

His attorney, Howard Chamberland, had assured him everything was fine-Maybeck had been released on a misdemeanor charge.

A misdemeanor that carried penalties of as much as a thousand-dollar fine and a year in jail.

Malfeasance, nonfeasance, misdemeanors or felonies--it made no difference.

Warren Hastings with high crimes and misdemeanors, on the matter of the Rohilla war was negatived by a majority of one hundred and nineteen, to sixty-seven.

Among them they boast 874 felony arrests, 300 felony convictions, 1,682 misdemeanor arrests and 1,023 misdemeanor convictions, only 85 have ever served time in prisons or reform schools.

Angel convictions on 1,023 misdemeanor counts and 151 felonies -- primarily vehicle theft, burglary and assault.

Some had been convicted of a misdemeanor and not a felony, others were felons who had had their rights restored and others were simply cases of mistaken identity.

I howled at the top of my lungs for almost 30 minutes, raving and screeching about all those who would soon be cast into the lake of fire, for a variety of low crimes, misdemeanors and general ugliness that amounted to a sweeping indictment of almost everybody in the hotel at that hour.

Most of those arrested last week at the Hialeah pit were accused of misdemeanors, although a few face felony charges that carry possible five-year prison terms.

Most of the crimes would be misdemeanors, and the penalties would be laughably light.

Hiawatha When he came into the village, Found the people in confusion, Heard of all the misdemeanors, All the malice and the mischief, Of the cunning Pau-Puk-Keewis.

How many glowing, garish icons to the overcommercialization of the holiday could he destroy before the damage toll took him 0 A G over the line from petty misdemeanor to something worse?

BY ANN COULTER HIGH CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS The Case Against Bill Clinton SLANDER Liberal Lies About the American Right TREASON LIBERAL TREACHERY FROM THE COLD WAR TO THE WAR ON TERRORISM ANN COULTER THE NEW BLACKLIST: ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Deserving of the most hysterical liberal blacklisting for helping me with this book are: M.

Which leaves Clifton, who's currently at the tail end of ninety days on a misdemeanor possession.

Two uniformed officers stood together talking while the police dispatcher, like a barker, issued a monotonous, nonstop account of crimes and misdemeanors in progress: complaints about noise, a call reporting a domestic disturbance in another part of town, a prowler, a drunk urinating on a public street.