conflict of interest

  1. the circumstance of a public officeholder, business executive, or the like, whose personal interests might benefit from their 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 their own activities, interests, etc., can be advanced only at the expense of another of them.

Origin of conflict of interest

First recorded in 1950–55

Words Nearby conflict of interest Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

Cultural definitions for conflict of interest

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.

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.