Definition of miscreant in English:



  • 1A person who has done something wrong or unlawful.

    ‘the police are straining every nerve to bring the miscreants to justice’
    • ‘We are repeatedly told in the Torah that murderers - and certain other miscreants - should be put to death so that the community can be purged of their contaminating presence.’
    • ‘In our understandable anger at the disgraceful and sickening behaviour of a small number of miscreants, we must not abandon norms of fairness and justice.’
    • ‘She had never seen so many assassins and miscreants gathered together under the same banner in order to annihilate someone.’
    • ‘Some towns in Russia employ trolley police with powers to fine miscreants or issue persistent trolley thieves with life-bans from the store.’
    • ‘Its streets attracted the villains and miscreants who would otherwise be widely dispersed.’
    • ‘At a time when the public is calling for the heads of corporate miscreants, you would have thought that the latest Census Bureau report on poverty and income would be great campaign fodder for Democrats.’
    • ‘In societies, there are freeloaders, scammers, and other miscreants.’
    • ‘What's more, they're probably so pleased to see someone when a burglar comes, they wag their tail and show the miscreant around the house!’
    • ‘I keep a vigilant watch but did not see any crimes being committed or miscreants around the premises.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, that means it could attract the wrong sort of attention from ne'er-do-wells and miscreants.’
    • ‘The tracing of terrorists, murderers, swindlers, child-molesters and the whole motley bunch of miscreants who flit back and forth across international borders had a higher priority.’
    • ‘Urban miscreants love to steal public works equipment.’
    • ‘Bandits and other miscreants roamed the dirt track after sundown, waiting for a horseman to come along so they could ambush him.’
    • ‘The United States advocated war crimes tribunals against foreign miscreants abroad while opposing an international criminal court that might hold our own officials accountable.’
    • ‘The enthusiasm for such measures reflects American frustration with crime and young miscreants, some experts say.’
    • ‘Four hundred years ago today, in 1605, the Gunpowder Plot was averted, miscreants brought to the fearsome justice of the age and a massive disruption to English history avoided.’
    • ‘If miscreants persisted in their illegal activity despite this warning they could be prosecuted.’
    • ‘The miscreant was traced and brought round for a stern talking to.’
    • ‘This is how the great criminals and miscreants of the world get started.’
    • ‘Such acts usually heralded the coming of thieves, murderers or some other class of miscreants trying to hide from something.’
    criminal, culprit, wrongdoer, malefactor, offender, villain, black hat, lawbreaker, evil-doer, convict, delinquent, sinner, transgressor, outlaw, trespasser, scoundrel, wretch, reprobate, rogue, rascal
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    1. 1.1archaic A heretic.


  • 1(of a person) behaving badly or unlawfully.

    ‘her miscreant husband’
    • ‘Whole sections of records, equivalent to decades of time, may be missing due to miscreant scribes, fires in libraries, or national upheavals leading to disruptions in official diary keeping; these are like sections of cloth missing.’
    • ‘The two miscreant youths confessed to police that they had committed almost another dozen such robberies without capture.’
    • ‘This meant that a miscreant official could be protected from justice by the head of his department.’
    • ‘Despite his protestations, the authorities have wisely decided to cage the miscreant youth.’
    • ‘She was on the first floor, after all, and it would not do if Nana found out she was going to talk to the miscreant sailors she was so pitted against.’
    • ‘It's for your own good, and for the good of society, that dangerous and twisted individuals such as this miscreant student are incarcerated.’
    • ‘These weapons form the backbone of every kind of miscreant organisation, from local gangs to organised crime to terrorist organisations.’
    • ‘The case was then handed over the Foreign Crime Suppression Unit, which sent a team of officers in search for the miscreant Iraqi.’
    • ‘It's certainly possible that Dad pulled strings because he wanted to teach his miscreant son a lesson.’
    • ‘Police set out on a manhunt, armed with an accurate description and the make and model of the car the miscreant gigolo was driving.’
    • ‘Police scoured the city, eventually finding and detaining the miscreant pair.’
    • ‘Mercifully, just when a major surgical procedure looked inevitable for the miscreant toddler, Mr Scott had a flash of inspiration.’
    • ‘However, while you rightly disapprove of these miscreant civilians, you will be impressed to learn that, on Saturday 25th, while proceeding in a westerly direction down the High Street, I threw myself in front of a speeding motorist.’
    • ‘It is to be hoped that this miscreant youth has learnt his lesson.’
    • ‘She agreed that the scoundrels should be jailed - just like, she added, miscreant priests and their duplicitous protectors among the bishops.’
    • ‘To be sure, discord is not good, but one might suggest that honest disagreement among bishops is a healthy thing, not least in holding negligent and miscreant brothers to account.’
    • ‘Jared sat down across from his miscreant son, feeling drained and exhausted and not very happy at all.’
    • ‘After the revelation of the study to the institute's staff, five potentially lost teaspoons were recovered from miscreant hoarders.’
    • ‘It just goes to prove that, while the most miscreant man can be terrifically terrorizing, watching a simple movie made about him can be equally torturous.’
    • ‘The four youths, each 17 years old were arrested in a crackdown on miscreant racers.’
    unethical, bad, morally wrong, wrongful, wicked, evil, unprincipled, unscrupulous, dishonourable, dishonest, unconscionable, iniquitous, disreputable, fraudulent, corrupt, depraved, vile, villainous, nefarious, base, unfair, underhand, devious
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    1. 1.1archaic Heretical.


Middle English (as an adjective in the sense ‘disbelieving’): from Old French mescreant, present participle of mescreire ‘disbelieve’, from mes- ‘mis-’ + creire ‘believe’ (from Latin credere).