non·​fea·​sance ˌnän-ˈfē-zᵊn(t)s How to pronounce nonfeasance (audio)
: failure to act
especially : failure to do what ought to be done

Examples of nonfeasance in a Sentence

you can sue for nonfeasance if the company doesn't fulfill the contract
Recent Examples on the Web In practice, our too-complex system degrades just about every public responsibility into nonfeasance. Daniel Henninger, WSJ, 1 June 2022 Reasons for removal could include abuse of power, neglect, gross immorality, drunkenness, misfeasance, malfeasance or nonfeasance, according to Ohio law. Madeline Mitchell, The Enquirer, 9 May 2022 The institution is one of the largest banks in the U.S. and an ongoing source of some difficult to differentiate apparent combination of misfeasance, nonfeasance, and malfeasance. Erik Sherman, Forbes, 28 Sep. 2021 However, Albertson ruled that misfeasance and nonfeasance are not listed as crimes under Virginia’s state code, according to attorneys for the defendants. Antonio Olivo, Washington Post, 29 Oct. 2019 His nonfeasance included not filing critical pleadings, not attending hearings, not forwarding files to successor counsel, not refunding unearned fees and not responding to client inquiries. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 13 July 2018 Grounds for removal are: exercising unlawful power or authority, gross neglect of duty, gross immorality, drunkenness, misfeasance, malfeasance and nonfeasance. James Ewinger,, 28 Apr. 2018 See More

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

Word History


non- + obsolete English feasance doing, execution

First Known Use

1626, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of nonfeasance was in 1626

Dictionary Entries Near nonfeasance

Cite this Entry

“Nonfeasance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

Legal Definition


non·​fea·​sance ˌnän-ˈfēz-ᵊns How to pronounce nonfeasance (audio)
: the failure or omission to do something that should be done or especially something that one is under a duty or obligation to do compare malfeasance, misfeasance

non- + obsolete English feasance doing, execution, from Anglo-French fesance, from Old French faisance act, from fais-, stem of faire to do, from Latin facere

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