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[mal-fee-zuh ns] /mælˈfi zəns/
noun, Law.
the performance by a public official of an act that is legally unjustified, harmful, or contrary to law; wrongdoing (used especially of an act in violation of a public trust).
Compare misfeasance (def 2), nonfeasance.
Origin of malfeasance
1690-1700; earlier malefeasance. See male-, feasance
Related forms
malfeasant, adjective, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for malfeasance


(law) the doing of a wrongful or illegal act, esp by a public official Compare misfeasance, nonfeasance
Derived Forms
malfeasant, noun, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Old French mal faisant, from mal evil + faisant doing, from faire to do, from Latin facere
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for malfeasance

1690s, from French malfaisance "wrongdoing," from malfaisant, from mal- "badly" (see mal-) + faisant, present participle of faire "to do," from Latin facere "to do" (see factitious). Malfeasor "wrong-doer" is attested from early 14c. Related: Malfeasant.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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