noun mis·con·duct \ -ˈkän-(ˌ)dəkt \
|Updated on: 7 Aug 2018

Definition of misconduct

1 : mismanagement especially of governmental or military responsibilities
2 : intentional wrongdoing; specifically : deliberate violation of a law or standard especially by a government official : malfeasance
3 a : improper behavior
b : adultery
4 : a penalty (as in ice hockey) for improper behavior or abusive language (as toward an official)


play \-kən-ˈdəkt\ transitive verb

Examples of misconduct in a Sentence

  1. He was forced to defend himself against charges of sexual misconduct.

  2. There have been reports of misconduct by several employees.

Recent Examples of misconduct from the Web

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

First Known Use of misconduct


in the meaning defined at sense 1

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MISCONDUCT Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of misconduct for English Language Learners

  • : wrong behavior : behavior or activity that is illegal or morally wrong

MISCONDUCT Defined for Kids


noun mis·con·duct \ mis-ˈkän-ˌdəkt \

Definition of misconduct for Students

: bad behavior

Law Dictionary


noun mis·con·duct \ mis-ˈkän-dəkt \

legal Definition of misconduct

: intentional or wanton wrongful but usually not criminal behavior: as
a : deliberate or wanton violation of standards of conduct by a government official
b : wrongful behavior (as adultery) by a spouse that leads to the dissolution of the marriage
c : an attorney's violation of the standards set for professional conduct; also : an attorney's and especially a prosecutor's use of deceptive or reprehensible methods in presenting a case to a jury
d : impermissible behavior by a juror (as communicating about the case with outsiders, witnesses, or others, reading or hearing news reports about the case, or independently introducing evidence to other jurors)
e : an employee's deliberate or wanton disregard of an employer's interests or disregard or violation of the employer's standards or rules that is sufficient to justify a denial of unemployment compensation

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