mis·​cre·​ant | \ ˈmis-krē-ənt How to pronounce miscreant (audio) \

Definition of miscreant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : unbelieving, heretical miscreant pagans
2 : depraved, villainous miscreant behavior miscreant gangs



Definition of miscreant (Entry 2 of 2)

2 : one who behaves criminally or viciously

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Examples of miscreant in a Sentence

Noun He supports tough penalties against corporate miscreants. halt, vile miscreant, and face justice!
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective While Thrasher trashed Transworld and embraced miscreant behavior, Transworld focused on positivity and the beauty of the sport, opening them up to advertisers that would never approach Thrasher, such as children’s summer camps. Kevin L. Jones, San Francisco Chronicle, "Thrasher at 40: S.F. magazine still skates and destroys misconceptions about 'boarders," 13 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Attempting to quell conspiracy theories, his chief of police proclaimed that the government had not poisoned the drinking water—but that miscreants may have done so. Maurice Samuels, Time, "Conspiracy Theories, Class Tension, Political Intrigue: Lessons From France’s Mishandling of a 19th Century Cholera Outbreak," 15 May 2020 Mr Duterte’s hard line on drug dealers and other miscreants was at the core of his election campaign. The Economist, "Shoot-to-kill in the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte’s lawless war on drugs is wildly popular," 20 Feb. 2020 The plot turns on whether Mickey will prevail against an assortment of competitors and miscreants who want to relieve him of his profits. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘The Gentlemen’: Blithe Thuggery With Flair to Spare," 23 Jan. 2020 Mr Moro convicted Lula, the most prominent of the Lava Jato miscreants. The Economist, "The strange passivity of Jair Bolsonaro," 23 Nov. 2019 With big data to crunch and nowhere for miscreants to hide, perhaps top-down rule can at last be made to work. The Economist, "Communists are fascinated by contradictions. China faces a big one," 2 Nov. 2019 But unless users have properly tweaked their settings in advance, Lietschuh's findings show how miscreants can turn this ease-of-use against unwitting users. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Zoom for Mac made it too easy for hackers to access webcams. Here’s what to do [Updated]," 9 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'miscreant.' 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 miscreant


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for miscreant

Adjective and Noun

Middle English miscreaunt, from Anglo-French mescreant, present participle of mescreire to disbelieve, from mes- + creire to believe, from Latin credere — more at creed

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Time Traveler for miscreant

Time Traveler

The first known use of miscreant was in the 14th century

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Statistics for miscreant

Last Updated

28 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Miscreant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/miscreant. Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for miscreant



English Language Learners Definition of miscreant

formal : a person who does something that is illegal or morally wrong


mis·​cre·​ant | \ ˈmis-krē-ənt How to pronounce miscreant (audio) \

Kids Definition of miscreant

More from Merriam-Webster on miscreant

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for miscreant

Nglish: Translation of miscreant for Spanish Speakers

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