malfeasance

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noun mal·fea·sance \ ˌmal-ˈfē-zᵊn(t)s \

Definition of malfeasance

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

Examples of malfeasance in a Sentence

  1. The investigation has uncovered evidence of corporate malfeasance.

  2. a campaign to impeach the governor for malfeasance in office

Recent Examples of malfeasance from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of malfeasance

mal- + obsolete feasance doing, execution


Financial Definition of MALFEASANCE

malfeasance

What It Is

Malfeasance is the legal term for intentionally doing something that is illegal.

How It Works

Let's say John Doe is Jane Smith's broker. John really wants to keep Jane Smith as a client, and he is in charge of her managed account, which means he can buy and sell for her account without her prior approval.

John decides that he wants to increase the returns in Jane's account, so he gets a tip from his buddy, Jake Johnson, who is the CFO of Company XYZ and who tells him that Company XYZ is about to be acquired by Company ABC. John takes this piece of insider information and buys 10,000 shares of Company XYZ for Jane's account. As expected, the stock price of Company XYZ soars 50% after Company ABC announces its acquisition plan five days later. Jane's account makes $200,000.

John has intentionally done something illegal (trade on insider information) that he knows could harm Jane if caught. This is malfeasance.

Why It Matters

Malfeasance is a term often connected to political figures, and it is hard to prove.


MALFEASANCE Defined for English Language Learners

malfeasance

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noun

Definition of malfeasance for English Language Learners

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


Law Dictionary

malfeasance

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noun mal·fea·sance \ ˌmal-ˈfēz-ᵊns \

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

Origin and Etymology of 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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