mis·​tri·​al | \ ˈmis-ˌtrī(-ə)l How to pronounce mistrial (audio) \

Definition of mistrial

: a trial that has no legal effect with regard to one or more of the charges brought against the defendant because of some serious error or prejudicial misconduct in the proceedings or a hung jury

Examples of mistrial in a Sentence

The judge declared a mistrial.

Recent Examples on the Web

Of the five previous trials, two ended in mistrials, one was thrown out over evidence questions. Essence, "SCOTUS Strikes Down Murder Conviction Of Mississippi Black Man, Finding Racial Bias In Jury Selection," 21 June 2019 Of the first five trials, one conviction was thrown out over questions about evidence and two resulted in mistrials. Pete Williams, NBC News, "Supreme Court rules for black death row inmate over prosecutor's racial bias," 21 June 2019 Flowers accused Evans of repeatedly removing black people from the jury in each of his trials, two of which resulted in mistrials. Erin Corbett, Fortune, "Supreme Court Strikes Down Black Man's Murder Conviction After 22 Years on Death Row," 21 June 2019 The jury deadlocked 9 to 3 in favor of conviction and a mistrial was declared on Sept. 4. Pauline Repard, San Diego Union-Tribune, "El Cajon man pleads guilty to clubbing 72-year-old housemate to death," 11 June 2019 Brock had been released from jail twice in April, including once because of a mistrial during a felony robbery case in a Washington County. oregonlive.com, "Grand jury clears cops who fatally shot man after he stabbed 4 in SE Portland home," 4 June 2019 Some of the victims had been charged in the murder of a police chief, but the trials all ended in acquittal or mistrial. Rosario A. Iaconis, WSJ, "An Overdue Apology to Italian-Americans," 8 Apr. 2019 Cosby's sentence comes after a lengthy trial that resulted in one mistrial and an eventual guilty verdict, over accusations from former Temple University employee Constand. Tyler Mccarthy, Fox News, "Bill Cosby sentenced to 3 to 10 years for drugging, sexually assaulting Andrea Constand," 26 Sep. 2018 The jury remained deadlocked on the remaining charges, including two counts of rape, and the judge declared a mistrial. Alaa Abdeldaiem, SI.com, "Kellen Winslow Jr. Will Be Retried on Eight Unsolved Charges," 14 June 2019

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

9 Jul 2019

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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 How to pronounce mistrial (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on mistrial

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mistrial

Nglish: Translation of mistrial for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mistrial for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about mistrial

Comments on mistrial

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to complain fretfully

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