[ mis-fee-zuh ns ]
/ mɪsˈfi zəns /

noun Law.

a wrong, actual or alleged, arising from or consisting of affirmative action.
the wrongful performance of a normally lawful act; the wrongful and injurious exercise of lawful authority.

Nearby words

  1. misery,
  2. misery index,
  3. misery loves company,
  4. misesteem,
  5. misestimate,
  6. misfeasor,
  7. misfeature,
  8. misfeed,
  9. misfield,
  10. misfile

Origin of misfeasance

From the Anglo-French word mesfesance, dating back to 1590–1600. See mis-1, feasance

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for misfeasance

British Dictionary definitions for misfeasance


/ (mɪsˈfiːzəns) /


law the improper performance of an act that is lawful in itselfCompare malfeasance, nonfeasance
Derived Formsmisfeasor, noun

Word Origin for misfeasance

C16: from Old French mesfaisance, from mesfaire to perform misdeeds

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 misfeasance



"wrongful exercise of lawful authority or improper performance of a lawful act," 1590s, from Middle French mesfaisance, from mesfaisant, present participle of Old French mesfaire "to misdo," from mes- "wrongly" (see mis- (2)) + faire "to do," from Latin facere "to perform" (see factitious).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper