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[mal-prak-tis] /mælˈpræk tɪs/
Law. failure of a professional person, as a physician or lawyer, to render proper services through reprehensible ignorance or negligence or through criminal intent, especially when injury or loss follows.
any improper, negligent practice; misconduct or misuse.
Origin of malpractice
First recorded in 1665-75; mal- + practice
Related forms
[mal-prak-tish-uh-ner] /ˌmæl prækˈtɪʃ ə nər/ (Show IPA),
noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for malpractice


immoral, illegal, or unethical professional conduct or neglect of professional duty
any instance of improper professional conduct
Derived Forms
malpractitioner (ˌmælprækˈtɪʃənə) noun
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 malpractice

1670s, hybrid coined from mal- + practice (n.). Also used in law for "illegal action by which a person seeks a benefit for himself while in a position of trust" (1758).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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malpractice in Medicine

malpractice mal·prac·tice (māl-prāk'tĭs)
Improper or negligent treatment of a patient, as by a physician, resulting in injury, damage, or loss.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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malpractice in Culture

malpractice definition

Mistakes or negligent conduct by a professional person, especially a physician, that results in damage to others, such as misdiagnosis of a serious illness. Damaged parties often seek compensation by bringing malpractice suits against the offending physician or other professional.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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