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conflict of interest

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noun
  1. the circumstance of a public officeholder, business executive, or the like, whose personal interests might benefit from his or her official actions or influence: The senator placed his stocks in trust to avoid possible conflict of interest.
  2. the circumstance of a person who finds that one of his or her activities, interests, etc., can be advanced only at the expense of another of them.
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Origin of conflict of interest

First recorded in 1950–55
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

conflict of interest in Culture

conflict of interest

A situation in which someone who has to make a decision in an official capacity stands to profit personally from the decision. For example, a judge who rules on a case involving a corporation in which he or she owns stock has a conflict of interest.

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