mal·​fea·​sance | \ ˌmal-ˈfē-zᵊn(t)s How to pronounce malfeasance (audio) \

Definition of malfeasance

: wrongdoing or misconduct especially by a public official The investigation has uncovered evidence of corporate malfeasance.

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Examples of malfeasance in a Sentence

The investigation has uncovered evidence of corporate malfeasance. a campaign to impeach the governor for malfeasance in office
Recent Examples on the Web On the other hand, the Founders were clearly aware of the British attempt to impeach Warren Hastings for malfeasance as former Governor-General of Bengal. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Trying Mr. Trump, Private Citizen," 25 Jan. 2021 Resident William Bailey, who is represented by attorney Matthew DePerno, filed the lawsuit alleging unfounded claims of electoral malfeasance. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, "Michigan judge allows release of names of Dominion 'forensic investigators' in Antrim County case," 11 Jan. 2021 Disliking a president and being determined to hold him to account for malfeasance is not the same thing as denying his existence. Washington Post, "The president is golfing and exercising White male privilege," 18 Nov. 2020 The openness of the social media platforms to malfeasance is a persistent issue. Emil Sayegh, Forbes, "Losing Touch With Reality – A GameStop Lesson," 9 Mar. 2021 The malfeasance extended to other big Brazilian firms. The Economist, "The sad, quiet death of Brazil’s anti-corruption task-force," 27 Feb. 2021 About 323,000 allegations of malfeasance were levied against New York City Police Department personnel over roughly the past 40 years. Jake Dima, Washington Examiner, "Court approves release of police disciplinary records in blow to New York law enforcement unions," 17 Feb. 2021 The deal uncovered a culture of financial mismanagement, if not malfeasance. The Salt Lake Tribune, "COVID-19 pandemic has Vatican bracing for $60 million deficit in 2021," 19 Feb. 2021 Heupel will replace Jeremy Pruitt, fired for cause last week amid an ongoing investigation into recruiting malfeasance that Tennessee expects will result in several major NCAA violations. Blake Toppmeyer, USA TODAY, "Tennessee finalizing deal to hire UCF's Josh Heupel as football coach, per reports," 28 Jan. 2021

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

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First Known Use of malfeasance

1663, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for malfeasance

mal- + obsolete feasance doing, execution

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Time Traveler for malfeasance

Time Traveler

The first known use of malfeasance was in 1663

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Statistics for malfeasance

Last Updated

8 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Malfeasance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for malfeasance



English Language Learners Definition of malfeasance

law : illegal or dishonest activity especially by a public official or a corporation


mal·​fea·​sance | \ ˌmal-ˈfēz-ᵊns How to pronounce malfeasance (audio) \

Legal Definition of malfeasance

: the commission (as by a public official) of a wrongful or unlawful act involving or affecting the performance of one's duties — compare misfeasance, nonfeasance

History and Etymology for malfeasance

mal- bad + obsolete English feasance doing, execution, from Old French faisance, from fais-, stem of faire to make, do, from Latin facere

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