mis·​tri·​al | \ˈmis-ˌtrī(-ə)l \

Definition of mistrial 

: a trial that has no legal effect by reason of some error or serious prejudicial misconduct in the proceedings

Examples of mistrial in a Sentence

The judge declared a mistrial.

Recent Examples on the Web

Royal went on trial in 2017, but a mistrial was declared when the jury reached an impasse in deliberations. Pauline Repard, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Man sent to prison for 105 years for 2007 Spring Valley murder," 13 July 2018 Each time a mistrial was declared because the juries could not agree on a verdict and Fielder went free last fall after prosecutors dismissed the charge. Steve Vockrodt, Lynn Horsley And Andy Marso, kansascity, "Tragedy strikes KCK law enforcement again: one sheriff deputy slain, another critical," 15 June 2018 So a mistrial was declared, and the Justice Department ended up dropping the case rather than trying to prosecute him again. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "Takeaways from New Jersey, Alabama, New Mexico, and other election results.," 6 June 2018 Lopez’s trial last year ended after two days when a mistrial was declared on discovery violations. Elizabeth Zavala, San Antonio Express-News, "Jury’s guilty verdict sends convicted killer into frenzy in San Antonio courtroom," 5 June 2018 The verdict came a year after Cosby's previous trial ended in a mistrial, as a different panel of jurors said they were deadlocked and could not unanimously agree on a verdict. Nicole Chavez, CNN, "Bill Cosby replaces his defense team," 15 June 2018 The fourth time, with a jury representative of the demographics of the district, the case ended in a mistrial, as did a fifth trial. Michael Harriot, The Root, "Whiteness Is a Superpower," 15 June 2018 The jury failed to agree on a verdict, the prosecution ended with a mistrial, and the Justice Department decided to drop the charges rather than try a second time. Tara Golshan, Vox, "New Jersey primary election 2018: live results for Senate and House races," 5 June 2018 The mistrial, coming after a 10-week trial that included 60 witnesses, is a blow to prosecutors and the latest indication of how a United States Supreme Court ruling in 2016 may be affecting public corruption cases. Colin Moynihan, New York Times, "Mangano Corruption Trial Ends in Mistrial on Long Island," 31 May 2018

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

1628, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for mistrial

Last Updated

1 Oct 2018

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The first known use of mistrial was in 1628

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English Language Learners Definition of mistrial

law : a trial that is not valid because of an error or because the jury is unable to decide a verdict


mis·​tri·​al | \ˈmis-ˌtrī-əl \

Legal Definition of mistrial 

: a trial that terminates without a verdict because of error, necessity, prejudicial misconduct, or a hung jury — see also manifest necessity — compare dismissal sense 2, trial de novo

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Comments on mistrial

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


obstinately defiant of authority

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