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mens rea

[menz ree-uh]
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noun Law.
  1. a criminal intent.
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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

British Dictionary definitions for mens rea

mens rea

noun
  1. 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
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Word Origin

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

Word Origin and History for mens rea

Latin phrase meaning "guilty mind."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper