scienter

noun
sci·​en·​ter | \ sī-ˈen-tər \

Legal Definition of scienter

1 : knowledge of the nature of one's act or omission or of the nature of something in one's possession that is often a necessary element of an offense the scienter element constitutionally required for an obscenity statuteWall Dist. v. Newport News, 323 S.E.2d 75 (1984) also : intent to engage in particular especially criminal conduct a few environmental statutes…do away altogether with the need to prove scienter…requiring no proof of criminal intent whatsoever — R. J. Kafin et al.
2 : a mental state in fraud (as securities fraud) that is characterized by an intent to deceive, manipulate, or defraud

History and Etymology for scienter

Latin, knowingly, from scient- sciens, present participle of scire to know

Learn More About scienter

Dictionary Entries Near scienter

Schenck v. United States

scienter

sci. fa.

See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Scienter.” Merriam-Webster.com Legal Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/legal/scienter. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!