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[mis-di-mee-ner] /ˌmɪs dɪˈmi nər/
Law. a criminal offense defined as less serious than a felony.
an instance of misbehavior; misdeed.
Also, especially British, misdemeanour.
Origin of misdemeanor
First recorded in 1480-90; mis-1 + demeanor Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for misdemeanor
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He certainly was not there for misdemeanor; for he was a "good boy," at least in his own estimation.

  • And Tresler could not help calling to mind the schoolboy detected in some misdemeanor.

    The Night Riders Ridgwell Cullum
  • Thus all the boys were exposed, and received just rebuke for their misdemeanor.

    The Printer Boy. William M. Thayer
  • His office was strictly elective, and he could be deposed for misdemeanor.

    The Prehistoric World E. A. Allen
  • Preciosa was upon trial for misdemeanor, and I for backbiting.

    When Grandmamma Was New Marion Harland
Word Origin and History for misdemeanor

also misdemeanour, "legal class of indictable offenses," late 15c.; from mis- (1) "wrong" + Middle English demenure (see demeanor). Related: Misdemeanors; misdemeanours.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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misdemeanor in Culture
misdemeanor [(mis-di-mee-nuhr)]

A minor crime, punishable by a fine or a light jail term. Common misdemeanors, such as traffic violations, are usually dealt with informally, without a trial. (Compare felony.)

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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