mis·​tri·​al | \ ˈmis-ˌtrī(-ə)l \

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

Judge Tom Olson denied a defense motion for a mistrial at the end of Hoehn's testimony. Fox News, "The Latest: Trial in pregnant woman's slaying goes to jury," 27 Sep. 2018 Salnick also accused the woman of intentionally making one comment during her testimony Wednesday that was not permissible and was grounds for a mistrial. Marc Freeman, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Deputy convicted of attempted rape," 13 July 2018 That statement prompted an angry objection from Bunk and a motion for mistrial, stating that the prosecutors allowed their witness to divulge information that was supposed to be kept from the jury. Elizabeth Zavala, San Antonio Express-News, "Witness recalls suffocation before San Antonio man cut up, body parts burned," 29 May 2018 On Monday, Weadick’s attorney, Mark Shea, asked for a mistrial, arguing that his client is being tainted by evidence being allowed about Salemme’s past. Shelley Murphy, BostonGlobe.com, "FBI agent describes grisly task of unearthing mob slaying victim in R.I.," 14 May 2018 Fresch lost a bid Tuesday for a mistrial based on the amount of media coverage about the case, including interviews involving Morelli. NBC News, "David Copperfield testifies that he knew of no injuries in illusion in 20 years," 24 Apr. 2018 Fresch lost a bid Tuesday for a mistrial based on the amount of media coverage about the case, including interviews involving Morelli. Washington Post, "Copperfield testifies on illusion where man says he was hurt," 24 Apr. 2018 The latest developments from the courtroom: Judge rejects defense's fifth motion for a mistrialJudge Steven O'Neill rejected the defense's fifth attempt to stop the trial over an alleged transgression by the prosecution team or its witnesses. Jayme Deerwester, USA TODAY, "Bill Cosby retrial, Day 9: Defense resumes case, fails on 5th bid for mistrial," 19 Apr. 2018 Van Leer-Greenberg has been an unapologetically aggressive presence in court, moving for a mistrial on a daily basis. Maureen O'connor, The Cut, "The Jury Is Out at the Nanny Murder Trial," 17 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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Last Updated

5 Feb 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 \

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

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