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

Synonyms & Antonyms for misconduct


adultery, cheating, infidelity, two-timing, unfaithfulness


faithfulness, fidelity

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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

Recently, an anonymous high school girl opened up to me about her personal experience with misconduct by a teacher. Lily Genovese, Glamour, "8 Things You Should Know About High School Feminists," 7 Aug. 2018 The investigation into Richardson and the Panthers organization concluded in June, finding evidence that substantiated claims of workplace misconduct by Richardson. Jourdan Rodrigue, charlotteobserver, "Sale of Panthers to David Tepper finalized. Here's what we know, and what's next," 9 July 2018 Prosecutors have said that misconduct by the officers in the Gun Trace Task Force went on for years. Justin Fenton, baltimoresun.com, "Federal prosecutors seek release of admitted drug dealer in more Gun Trace Task Force fallout," 5 July 2018 The Board has received an allegation concerning misconduct by persons associated with the National Association of Hispanic Journalists which occurred a number of years ago. Richard Prince, The Root, "Obama Was More Aware of Racism Than We Saw," 27 June 2018 The board can discipline teachers found guilty of misconduct by censuring them in minor cases and suspending or removing their teaching certificates in more severe cases. Ricardo Cano, azcentral, "Board of Education drops discussion about punishing #RedForEd teachers over walkout," 22 June 2018 Earlier this week, Upton suggested misconduct by Marciano on Twitter, but did not go into detail about her alleged encounters. refinery29.com, "Guess? Co-Founder Paul Marciano Officially Steps Down," 13 June 2018 Two days before Christmas, the Times published its story alleging a range of misconduct by executives and managers throughout the company, including confidential settlements with female employees. Reeves Wiedeman, Daily Intelligencer, "A Company Built on a Bluff," 10 June 2018 Some argue that findings of misconduct by an institution should be enough to hit the eject button. Meredith Wadman, Science | AAAS, "Will U.S. academies expel sexual harassers?," 29 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

27 Nov 2018

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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

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