mens rea

[ menz -ree-uh ]
/ ˈmɛnz ˈri ə /
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noun Law.

a criminal intent.



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Origin of mens rea

First recorded in 1860–65, mens rea is from New Latin mēns rea
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for mens rea

mens rea
/ (ˈmɛnz ˈreɪə) /


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
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
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