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

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 Defense attorney Michael Stewart moved for a mistrial, citing Lindquist’s actions. Sean Robinson, The Seattle Times, "Disciplinary hearing set for Pierce County Prosecutor Lindquist – for after the election," 28 May 2018 Schuman was ready to declare a hung jury and a mistrial, but defense attorney Aaron Romano asked Schuman to ask the jurors to take their lunch break and then try one more time. David Owens, courant.com, "Hartford Jury Deadlocks In Murder Case," 24 May 2018 And when proceedings ended in a mistrial, even more politicians came to the Bundy family’s side. Leah Sottile, Longreads, "Bundyville Chapter Four: The Gospel of Bundy," 18 May 2018 Bill Cosby’s conviction, rendered in a Pennsylvania court after a 2017 mistrial, takes place against the backdrop of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements but is not entirely of it. Daniel D'addario, Time, "Bill Cosby's Conviction Is an Unexpected Win for #MeToo. But There's a Long Way to Go," 26 Apr. 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

17 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for mistrial

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).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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