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 The attempt to protest against these painful hardships by ordinary people, who have suffered from years of political and economic misrule, has invited yet another season of police brutality. Evan Mawarire, Time, "Violence in Zimbabwe Is Escalating. But We Won't Stop Fighting for Our Freedoms," 23 Aug. 2019 After years of authoritarian misrule the new government, led by Zoran Zaev, has started tackling corruption and reforming the judiciary. The Economist, "The EU must keep its promise to North Macedonia," 13 June 2019 Deadwood is a rollicking drama about the mania that was the violent colonization of the American West, with all its greed, brutality, and misrule. Rachel Syme, The New Republic, "The Outlaw World of Deadwood," 6 June 2019 The existential crisis facing the city is the culmination of decades of unfettered development, almost nonexistent urban planning and misrule by city politicians who have served private interests over those of the public. Washington Post, "Indonesia’s leader says sinking Jakarta needs giant sea wall," 29 July 2019 But for decades, DR Congo has been dogged by corruption, misrule by its leaders and violent ethnic conflicts. Lekan Oguntoyinbo, Quartz Africa, "More African migrants are trying to enter the US through the Mexican border," 23 June 2019 Get our daily newsletter Together these encapsulated why the Russian world remains so fascinating and essential a subject—the geographical and moral scale, the grotesque suffering and misrule, the bravery, the ideas and the impact on everybody else. A.d.m., The Economist, "The agony and the ecstasy of Russian culture," 14 June 2019 Famished subjects rail against their country’s misrule. The Economist, "George Benjamin’s defence of opera," 17 May 2018 Many of South Africa’s recent economic travails have been the direct result of the nine-year misrule of the former president Jacob Zuma, who presided over the moral collapse and debasement of the ANC. Peter Godwin, WSJ, "Mandela’s Troubled Legacy," 13 July 2018

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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Statistics for misrule

Last Updated

28 Sep 2019

Cite this Entry

“Misrule.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/misruled. Accessed 22 November 2019.

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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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