mis·​rule | \ ˌmis-ˈrül How to pronounce misrule (audio) \
misruled; misruling; misrules

Definition of misrule

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to rule incompetently : misgovern



Definition of misrule (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the action of misruling : the condition of being misruled

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Examples of misrule in a Sentence

Verb accused of misruling his island nation to the point of economic collapse Noun The people of that country have endured many years of misrule. the country's long period of misrule had made it a hotbed for terrorist organizations
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But for as long as Mr Assad is allowed to misrule Syria, most aid money would be better spent helping its neighbours. The Economist, "Syria will poison the region for years to come," 5 Sep. 2019 The Zaire of the 1970s had already started a long, steady descent under Mobutu’s misrule that led to its economic collapse and civil war two decades later. The Economist, "Sticky fingersThe dictators who ruined Africa," 11 Jan. 2018 The power is the right to misrule a country without concern for the general welfare of nations or its own citizens. Mark Sappenfield, The Christian Science Monitor, "Refusing to honor fear," 4 Sep. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But since spiritual affiliations precede democratic obligations in Barr’s legal theology, the highest civic priority is not so much to expand the reach of democratic self-rule as to guard vigilantly against secular misrule. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Bill Barr’s Invisible Crusade," 8 June 2020 Venezuela, a formerly prosperous petrostate, has spiraled into misery after decades of misrule under Maduro and his predecessor, Hugo Chavez. Saleha Mohsin, Bloomberg.com, "U.S. Sanctions Venezuela’s Parra Over National Assembly Rift," 10 May 2020 Three generations of totalitarian misrule have left North Korea woefully incapable of containing, or even suppressing, a coronavirus epidemic. Jamie Mcintyre, Washington Examiner, "At the Pentagon, the standard drill: Turn Trump’s tweets into cogent policy," 23 Apr. 2020 To our French founders and Michael Krafft, Joe Cain, Chief Slac and the thousands who celebrated misrule of Mardi Gras. al, "‘MoonPie Minute’ storyteller transfixed Mardi Gras lore in Mobile," 19 Apr. 2020 The carnage from Republican misrule will probably be counted in six digits at least. Ryan Cooper, TheWeek, "The U.S. coronavirus outbreak is going to be worse than Iran's," 27 Mar. 2020 But to the hundreds of thousands of young Egyptians who rallied for 18 days of unprecedented street protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square and elsewhere in 2011, Mubarak was a latter-day pharaoh and a symbol of autocratic misrule. Samy Magdy, Anchorage Daily News, "Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s autocrat ousted in the Arab Spring uprising, dies at 91," 25 Feb. 2020 But to the hundreds of thousands of young Egyptians who rallied for 18 days of unprecedented street protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square and elsewhere in 2011, Mubarak was a latter-day pharaoh and a symbol of autocratic misrule. Washington Post, "Mubarak, Egypt’s autocrat ousted in uprising, dies at 91," 25 Feb. 2020 Sen Ben Sasse: Xi's malfeasance and misrule fueled the crisis The crisis deepened for Xi last week following the death of ophthalmologist Li Wenliang in Wuhan, the sprawling city of 11 million people that serves as the capital of Hubei Province. John Bacon, USA TODAY, "China President Xi knew severity of coronavirus weeks before revealing details," 17 Feb. 2020

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


14th century, in the meaning defined above


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for misrule

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

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Cite this Entry

“Misrule.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/misrule. Accessed 9 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for misrule



English Language Learners Definition of misrule

: bad government

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More from Merriam-Webster on misrule

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for misrule

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with misrule

Spanish Central: Translation of misrule

Nglish: Translation of misrule for Spanish Speakers

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