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

At least two of the men now accusing Bransfield of misconduct received checks from him, typically for between $50 and $300, according to the report and financial records. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Report: W. Va. bishop sent diocese funds to abuse victims," 5 June 2019 To serve, residents cannot have a criminal record or serious misconduct allegation at a job and must have at least two years of experience in areas such as human resources, personnel and labor relations. Mark Puente, latimes.com, "All-civilian panels could decide LAPD misconduct cases starting June 13," 4 June 2019 The department has faced a series of serious misconduct allegations in recent years, further undermining public trust in a department in which the Justice Department in 2016 found a pattern of unconstitutional and discriminatory policing practices. Kevin Rector, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore Police investigate reported rape that 'may have involved' department member; 115 cars out of service," 3 June 2019 A few weeks ago, Moore was one of several women featured in a New York Times article detailing misconduct allegations against musician Ryan Adams. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Mandy Moore Shares the Emotional Reason Behind Her New Haircut," 8 Mar. 2019 Pillsbury urged the judge to consider Dockery’s past misconduct in fashioning a sentence. David Owens, courant.com, "Former Correction Officer, Army Reservist Avoids Prison For Stealing From State," 26 June 2018 The latest alleged misconduct in question emerged in private email exchanges introduced as part of the lawsuit challenging the board’s recent dismissal of Executive Director Paula Littlewood. Lewis Kamb, The Seattle Times, "Amid turmoil, judge rules Washington State Bar Association must disclose correspondence that explains director’s firing," 14 Apr. 2019 The arrest, the fourth for Mr. Ghosn, was on fresh suspicions of financial misconduct and came less than a month after he was released on bail. Sean Mclain, WSJ, "Carlos Ghosn Will Stay in Jail Until at Least April 22," 12 Apr. 2019 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

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

12 Jun 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

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