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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Misfeasance \Mis*fea"sance\, n. [OF. pref. mes- wrong (L. minus less) + faisance doing, fr. faire to do, L. facere. Cf. Malfeasance.] (Law) A trespass; a wrong arising from an overt act; the improper doing of an act which a person might lawfully do.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"wrongful exercise of lawful authority or improper performance of a lawful act," 1590s, from Middle French mesfaisance, from mesfaisant, present participle of Old French mesfaire "to misdo," from mes- "wrongly" (see mis- (2)) + faire "to do," from Latin facere "to perform" (see factitious).


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.


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


Misfeasance, nonfeasance, and malfeasance are types of failure to discharge public obligations existing by common law, custom, or statute.

Usage examples of "misfeasance".

Moreover, I have also signed a bond for five thousand dollars, prior to the beginning of the trial, which I stand ready to forfeit should my client be confined and make his escape, if found guilty of any misfeasance as a witness.

At that point, all accusations of malfeasance, misfeasance, and nonfeasance were stilled.

Sanford had agreed to plead guilty to one count of misfeasance, claiming he felt responsible for not keeping better records.

Then he had agreed to the fatal plea of misfeasance, which Judge Callahan had taken as a plea of guilty on all counts.

Of course the President cannot be held responsible for the misfeasances of subordinates, unless adopted or at least tolerated by him.

Sir Archie was apologetic for his social misfeasances, congratulatory about Harald Blacktooth, eager to atone for the past by an exuberant neighbourliness.