[ mal-prak-tis ]
See synonyms for malpractice on
  1. Law. failure of a professional person, as a physician or lawyer, to render proper services through reprehensible ignorance or negligence or through criminal intent, especially when injury or loss follows.

  2. any improper, negligent practice; misconduct or misuse.

Origin of malpractice

First recorded in 1665–75; mal- + practice

Other words from malpractice

  • mal·prac·ti·tion·er [mal-prak-tish-uh-ner], /ˌmæl prækˈtɪʃ ə nər/, noun

Words Nearby malpractice Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use malpractice in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for malpractice


/ (mælˈpræktɪs) /

  1. immoral, illegal, or unethical professional conduct or neglect of professional duty

  2. any instance of improper professional conduct

Derived forms of malpractice

  • malpractitioner (ˌmælprækˈtɪʃənə), noun

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

Cultural definitions for malpractice


Mistakes or negligent conduct by a professional person, especially a physician, that results in damage to others, such as misdiagnosis of a serious illness. Damaged parties often seek compensation by bringing malpractice suits against the offending physician or other professional.

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.