[ mal-fee-zuhns ]
/ mælˈfi zəns /
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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.



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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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Origin of malfeasance

First recorded in 1660–70; earlier malefeasance.See male-, feasance

OTHER WORDS FROM malfeasance

mal·fea·sant, adjective, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for malfeasance

British Dictionary definitions for malfeasance

/ (mælˈfiːzəns) /


law the doing of a wrongful or illegal act, esp by a public officialCompare misfeasance, nonfeasance

Derived forms of malfeasance

malfeasant, noun, adjective

Word Origin for malfeasance

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