- a neglect or violation of official duty by one in office.
- failure by one not an accessory to prevent or notify the authorities of treason or felony.
- a contempt against the government, monarch, or courts, as sedition, lese majesty, or a contempt of court.
- a mistake; misunderstanding.
Origin of misprision1
- contempt or scorn.
Origin of misprision2
Examples from the Web for misprision
I overlook the misprision of blasphemy on your part, for you didn't know what you said?Valentine M'Clutchy, The Irish Agent
If they were true, it was misprision of treason in him to have concealed the matter for a twelvemonth.Sir Walter Ralegh
“You were guilty of misprision of treason in not revealing it,” remarked the Earl.Guy Fawkes
William Harrison Ainsworth
Fisher, the guiltiest of all, was sent to the Tower for misprision.The Divorce of Catherine of Aragon
These pert, bird-like ways formed her shield against ridicule and misprision.Other Main-Travelled Roads
- a failure to inform the proper authorities of the commission of an act of treason
- the deliberate concealment of the commission of a felony
- failure to appreciate the value of something
Word Origin and History for misprision
"wrong action, a failure on the part of authority," early 15c., from Anglo-French mesprisioun "mistake, error, wrong action or speech," from Old French mesprision "mistake, wrongdoing, fault, blame, crime," from mespris, past participle of mesprendre "to mistake, act wrongly, trespass, transgress, break a law," from mes- "wrongly" (see mis- (2)) + prendre "take," from Latin prendere, contracted from prehendere "seize" (see prehensile).
In 16c., misprision of treason was used for lesser degrees of guilt (those not subject to capital punishment), especially for knowing of treasonable actions or plots but not informing the authorities. This led to the common supposition in legal writers that the word means "failure to denounce" a crime.