misfeasance

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n misfeasance doing a proper act in a wrongful or injurious manner
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Misfeasance (Law) A trespass; a wrong arising from an overt act; the improper doing of an act which a person might lawfully do.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n misfeasance In law: A trespass; a wrong done
    • n misfeasance In modern use, more specifically, the misuse of power; misbehavior in office; the wrongful and injurious exercise of lawful authority, as distinguished from malfeasance and nonfeasance. This word is often carelessly used in the sense of malfeasance.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Misfeasance mis-fēz′ans (law) a wrong done, as distinguished from Nonfeasance, which means a mere omission: the doing of a lawful act in a wrongful manner, as distinguished from Malfeasance, which means the doing of an act which is positively unlawful
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OF. pref. mes-, wrong (L. minus, less) + faisance, doing, fr. faire, to do, L. facere,. Cf. Malfeasance
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr., mes-, wrong, faisancefaire—L. facĕre, to do.

Usage

In literature:

The sheriff could be sued for misfeasance such as bribery in the King's court.
"Our Legal Heritage, 5th Ed." by S. A. Reilly
Misfeasance and malfeasance in public office ought to be considered an unpardonable crime, and the guilty dealt with accordingly.
"A Book Written by the Spirits of the So-Called Dead" by C. G. Helleberg
An impeachment he said would be no cure for this evil, as an impeachment would reach misfeasance only, not incapacity.
"The Journal of the Debates in the Convention which Framed the Constitution of the United States" by James Madison
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In poetry:

What's the leopard-dog-thing, constant at his side,
A leer and lie in every eye of its obsequious hide?
When will come an end to all the mock obeisance,
And the price appear that pays for the misfeasance?
"Before" by Robert Browning