mis·​con·​duct | \ -ˈkän-(ˌ)dəkt \

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 \ 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

The mayor said the misconduct sickened him and apologized on behalf of the city for his former staffer’s actions. Katie Honan, WSJ, "Aide to New York Mayor Quit After Sexual-Harassment Accusations," 17 Jan. 2019 Dushku's settlement came to light as part of a company review conducted by the law firms Covington & Burling and Debevoise & Plimpton, and ordered by CBS, after multiple women came forward to accuse Moonves of misconduct. Julyssa Lopez, Glamour, "CBS Confirms It Paid Actress Eliza Dushku $9.5 Million to Settle Harassment Claims," 15 Dec. 2018 Architecture’s longstanding gender-equity problems became high profile after five women publicly accused Richard Meier of misconduct. Diana Budds, Curbed, "How cities became more equitable in 2018," 26 Dec. 2018 In the report, the Journal uncovers a troubling culture at UA beyond the systemic endorsement of strip club visits, including the company’s reported cover-up of misconduct from two executives. Chavie Lieber, Vox, "Under Armour won’t let employees expense “adult entertainment,” limos, or gambling anymore," 7 Nov. 2018 The system for reporting workplace misconduct on Capitol Hill was created more than two decades ago by the Congressional Accountability Act, which applied federal labor laws to Congress. Gabriel Pogrund, The Seattle Times, "Amid Kavanaugh uproar, changes to Congress’ sexual-harassment rules stall," 9 Oct. 2018 The league also established a confidential hotline for team and league employees to report workplace misconduct. Fox News, "Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban to donate $10M after NBA probes office environment," 19 Sep. 2018 Richardson is being investigated by the NFL after being accused last year of workplace misconduct. The Washington Post, NOLA.com, "NFL owners approve sale of Panthers from Jerry Richardson to David Tepper," 22 May 2018 Richardson is being investigated by the NFL after being accused last year of workplace misconduct. Mark Maske, chicagotribune.com, "NFL owners approve sale of Panthers from Jerry Richardson to David Tepper," 22 May 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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Last Updated

6 Feb 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 \

Kids Definition of misconduct

: bad behavior


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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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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