disorderly conduct


: a petty offense chiefly against public order and decency that falls short of an indictable misdemeanor

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The boy is being held at the Marion County Juvenile Detention Center on a charge of second-degree disorderly conduct, the sheriff’s office said. oregonlive, 6 Mar. 2023 Ramsey pleaded guilty to felony criminal mischief and a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct before Circuit Judge Joanna Taylor. Ron Wood, Arkansas Online, 14 Feb. 2023 He was being detained on suspicion of disorderly conduct. Johnny Magdaleno, The Indianapolis Star, 14 Feb. 2023 Payne was charged Monday in Waukesha County District Court with child abuse - intentionally causing harm and a misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct. Jim Riccioli, Journal Sentinel, 6 Feb. 2023 Joshua Adam Walter, 27, of the 800 block of Benedetti Drive, Naperville, was arrested on a charge of disorderly conduct at 9:46 a.m. Feb. 1 in the 800 block of Benedetti Drive. Chicago Tribune, 4 Feb. 2023 An arriving officer located the Parma man, who, after being revived using Narcan, was cited for disorderly conduct-intoxicated. John Benson, cleveland, 19 Jan. 2023 Outsized Discipline of Native Students Law enforcement was involved in 193 incidents involving Native students accused of disorderly conduct from 2016-17 to 2019-20. Bryant Furlow, ProPublica, 17 Jan. 2023 Jacksonville police have issued three municipal citations to Garrison students since Nov. 15, two for fighting and one for disorderly conduct, Jacksonville Police Chief Adam Mefford said Tuesday. Jennifer Smith Richards, Chicago Tribune, 8 Mar. 2023 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'disorderly conduct.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1786, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of disorderly conduct was in 1786

Dictionary Entries Near disorderly conduct

Cite this Entry

“Disorderly conduct.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disorderly%20conduct. Accessed 30 Mar. 2023.

Legal Definition

disorderly conduct

dis·​or·​der·​ly conduct
: conduct that is likely to lead to a disturbance of the public peace or that offends public decency
also : the petty offense of engaging in disorderly conduct compare breach of the peace

Note: The term disorderly conduct is used in statutes to identify various acts against the public peace. It has been held to include the use of obscene language in public, the blocking of public ways, and the making of threats. A statute must identify acts that constitute disorderly conduct with sufficient clarity in order to avoid being held unconstitutional because of vagueness.

More from Merriam-Webster on disorderly conduct

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