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

Keep scrolling for more

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: 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 Leaden with references to rape culture and objectification — as well as the entertainment miscreants Roman Polanski and Bill Cosby — the script is suffocatingly, almost comically, on the nose. Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times, "‘Tape’ Review: That’s (Not) Entertainment," 26 Mar. 2020 Most firms don’t let miscreant advisers rip off clients with impunity. Gwynn Guilford, Quartz, "Wall Street’s watchdog is obscuring data that could protect investors," 3 Mar. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about miscreant

Time Traveler for miscreant

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for miscreant

Cite this Entry

“Miscreant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/miscreant. Accessed 27 Nov. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on miscreant

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


Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a traditional thanksgiving dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!