mis·​con·​duct | \ -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 \ -​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

This is someone who had a long history of sordid misconduct. Shirin Ghaffary, Recode, "After 20,000 workers walked out, Google said it got the message. The workers disagree.," 21 Nov. 2018 Chicago has also spent about $709 million on settlements for police misconduct cases, according to a new report from the Action Center on Race & the Economy. Aamer Madhani, USA TODAY, "Jury: Chicago cop acted 'reasonably' in fatally shooting teen Quintonio LeGrier," 27 June 2018 The city has already paid out more than $670 million in police misconduct cases over the past 15 years. Dom Calicchio, Fox News, "Retired Chicago cop invokes Fifth more than 200 times during wrongful conviction case," 13 June 2018 This incident is the latest in a string of high-profile police misconduct cases involving the Milwaukee Police Department. Char Adams, PEOPLE.com, "Milwaukee Police Apologize After Video Shows NBA's Sterling Brown Getting Tased for Parking Violation," 24 May 2018 That Phillips has been accused of prosecutorial misconduct? Darrell Smith, sacbee, "Ad Watch: Schubert’s ad claims against challenger are ‘iffy’," 21 May 2018 All of this comes in the wake of a lawsuit filed during early 2017 in Sweden by four former Ghost members accusing Forge of financial misconduct. Gary Graff, Billboard, "Ghost Talks New Album, 2018 Tour Following Legal Battle With Former Members," 1 May 2018 Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie was booked on felony charges of official misconduct Tuesday night and plans to withdraw her candidacy for the county commission, sources told the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Skyler Swisher, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie booked on felony charges of official misconduct," 25 Apr. 2018 One proposal, for a watchdog body including outsiders to take reports of misconduct by bishops, raised eyebrows at the Vatican. Francis X. Rocca, WSJ, "‘It Will Cause a Scandal.’ The Pope and a Trusted U.S. Cardinal Clash Over Sex-Abuse Crisis," 14 Feb. 2019

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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Statistics for misconduct

Last Updated

17 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for misconduct

The first known use of misconduct was in 1705

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on misconduct

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for misconduct

Spanish Central: Translation of misconduct

Nglish: Translation of misconduct for Spanish Speakers

Comments on misconduct

What made you want to look up misconduct? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


marked by a state of overwhelming emotion

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