- a criminal intent.
Origin of mens rea
First recorded in 1860–65, mens rea is from the New Latin word mēns rea
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- law a criminal intention or knowledge that an act is wrong. It is assumed to be an ingredient of all criminal offences although some minor statutory offences are punishable irrespective of itCompare actus reus
Word Origin for mens rea
Latin, literally: guilty mind
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
Latin phrase meaning "guilty mind."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper