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mens rea

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noun \ˈmenz-ˈrē-ə, -ˈrā-ə\

Definition of mens rea

  1. :  criminal intent



Origin of mens rea

New Latin, literally, guilty mind


First Known Use: 1861


Law Dictionary

mens rea

play
noun \ˈmenz-ˈrē-ə, -ˈrā-\

Legal Definition of mens rea

plural mentes reae \ˈmen-ˌtēz-ˈrē-ˌē, ˈmen-ˌtās-ˈrā-ˌī\

  1. :  a culpable mental state; especially :  one involving intent or knowledge and forming an element of a criminal offense <murder contains a mens rea element> — compare actus reus



Origin of mens rea

New Latin, literally, guilty mind


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