[ mal-fee-zuh ns ]
/ mælˈfi zəns /

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.

Nearby words

  1. maleruption,
  2. malevich,
  3. malevolence,
  4. malevolent,
  5. malevolently,
  6. malformation,
  7. malformed,
  8. malfunction,
  9. malgaigne's luxation,
  10. malgré lui

Origin of malfeasance

1690–1700; earlier malefeasance. See male-, feasance

Related formsmal·fea·sant, adjective, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples 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 Formsmalfeasant, 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

Word Origin and History for malfeasance



1690s, from French malfaisance "wrongdoing," from malfaisant, from mal- "badly" (see mal-) + faisant, present participle of faire "to do," from Latin facere "to do" (see factitious). Malfeasor "wrong-doer" is attested from early 14c. Related: Malfeasant.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper