mis·​con·​duct | \ ˌmis-ˈkän-(ˌ)dəkt How to pronounce misconduct (audio) \

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
3a : improper behavior
b : adultery
4 : a penalty (as in ice hockey) for improper behavior or abusive language (as toward an official)

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Other Words from misconduct

misconduct \ ˌmis-​kən-​ˈdəkt How to pronounce misconduct (audio) \ transitive verb

Examples of misconduct in a Sentence

He was forced to defend himself against charges of sexual misconduct. There have been reports of misconduct by several employees.
Recent Examples on the Web Santana alone is charged with first-degree assault in addition to two counts of misconduct in office. Tim Prudente, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore Central Booking corrections officers indicted; one accused of choking inmate until she passed out," 31 Mar. 2021 Dave engaged in a pattern of misconduct which includes neglecting several clients’ matters, failing to comply with court orders, making misleading statements to the court, and trust account violations. Rafael Olmeda, sun-sentinel.com, "Supreme Court disciplines seven South Florida attorneys," 31 Mar. 2021 Ana Liss, a former aide to Mr. Cuomo who has accused the Democratic governor of misconduct, said that, during an interview with investigators, she was asked about Ms. DeRosa’s behavior in the workplace. Deanna Paul, WSJ, "Gov. Andrew Cuomo Aides Receive Subpoenas in Sexual-Harassment Investigation," 27 Mar. 2021 After the university set up a hotline and website to receive complaints, more allegations from students of misconduct poured in. New York Times, "U.S.C. Agrees to Pay $1.1 Billion to Patients of Gynecologist Accused of Abuse," 25 Mar. 2021 The fact that students of color are disproportionately likely to have student loans or have attended colleges with credible accusations of misconduct further highlights the importance of strong protection. Jean Song, CBS News, "Student debt "feels like quicksand." Is loan forgiveness the answer?," 25 Mar. 2021 Two years ago, legislation was introduced to create an oversight commission to investigate complaints of misconduct by state prosecutors. Bill Rankin, ajc, "State Bar considers strict penalties for prosecutorial misconduct," 24 Mar. 2021 Typically, a member of the public who thinks he was mistreated by police has to make a statement to the department’s Internal Affairs Unit, which investigates allegations of misconduct. Emilie Eaton, San Antonio Express-News, "Arrest of San Antonio fire chief's youngest son leads to a rift between top city leaders," 24 Mar. 2021 After Matze proposed moderating posts and barring identifiable extremist groups like neo-Nazis and the right-wing conspiracy theory QAnon, his lawsuit said, he was accused of misconduct and fired Jan. 29. Ken Ritter, Star Tribune, "Parler network founder claims GOP donor, others defamed him," 23 Mar. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of misconduct

1705, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for misconduct

Time Traveler

The first known use of misconduct was in 1705

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Statistics for misconduct

Last Updated

3 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Misconduct.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/misconduct. Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for misconduct



English Language Learners Definition of misconduct

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


mis·​con·​duct | \ mis-ˈkän-ˌdəkt How to pronounce misconduct (audio) \

Kids Definition of misconduct

: bad behavior


mis·​con·​duct | \ mis-ˈkän-dəkt How to pronounce misconduct (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on misconduct

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for misconduct

Nglish: Translation of misconduct for Spanish Speakers

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