mis·​tri·​al ˈmis-ˌtrī(-ə)l How to pronounce mistrial (audio)
: 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 But the trial judge threw Ellsberg’s case out, considering it a mistrial for wiretapping implications. Conor Murray, Forbes, 30 Nov. 2023 Having presided over the first two mistrials, the judge, now skeptical, asked Kanter to justify a third attempt. H. Claire Brown, New York Times, 29 Nov. 2023 In the motion for a mistrial, the Trump attorneys complained that Engoron consulted too frequently with Greenfield. Graham Kates, CBS News, 17 Nov. 2023 The expansion comes mere hours after Trump attorney Christopher Kise threatened to have the case declared a mistrial over note passing between the judge and his top legal aide—an eyebrow-raising threat that came after Eric Trump effectively admitted to lying in his deposition. Ellie Quinlan Houghtaling, The New Republic, 3 Nov. 2023 The jurors reached a verdict after a mistrial was declared in November. Winston Cho, The Hollywood Reporter, 7 Sep. 2023 But the proceedings ended in a mistrial after the jury could not reach agreement. Dan Morse, Washington Post, 16 Nov. 2023 The officers were later either acquitted or their trials were declared a mistrial. Luke Barr, ABC News, 10 Nov. 2023 The New Jersey Democrat was charged with separate corruption allegations in 2015, but the charges were dropped in 2018 after a mistrial. Jack Birle, Washington Examiner, 2 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mistrial.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1628, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mistrial was in 1628

Dictionary Entries Near mistrial

Cite this Entry

“Mistrial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mistrial. Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


mis·​tri·​al ˈmis-ˌtrī(-ə)l How to pronounce mistrial (audio)
: a trial that is cancelled because of an error in the proceedings

Legal Definition


mis·​tri·​al ˈmis-ˌtrī-əl How to pronounce mistrial (audio)
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on mistrial

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