Definition of misdemeanor in English:


(British misdemeanour)


  • 1A minor wrongdoing.

    ‘the player can expect a lengthy suspension for his latest misdemeanor’
    • ‘The need to turn around his public image and erase the memory of past misdemeanours is not the only requirement of a man who aspires to return the Conservatives to government.’
    • ‘Even if morality does reach down to our private lives, is it morally justifiable to punish someone in their public life for their private misdemeanours?’
    • ‘His mistakes and misdemeanours have been public ones, but he insists he has learned from them.’
    • ‘But with the exception of a visit to New York in September 2001, this book is just a series of anecdotes about caravans, blocked toilets, petty rows and minor misdemeanours in her car.’
    • ‘The energy that was once spent in a constructive fashion, rooting for teamwork and friendship, will be transformed into a tornado of terror and minor misdemeanors.’
    • ‘Your misdemeanors are minor, and your contributions to the genre cannot be overlooked.’
    • ‘Because of the risk of fire, there was no heating of any kind and this was a rigorously male society; heavy fines were imposed for even minor misdemeanours such as talking loudly (rather like Scottish public schools used to be).’
    • ‘Last night I bit the bullet and went to see my neighbour about her teenage dirtbag of a daughter and the noise along with a list of other minor misdemeanours.’
    • ‘Children as young as 14 are also working illegally, while minor workplace misdemeanours are frequently met with corporal punishment or punitive wage reductions.’
    • ‘I'm from a Roman Catholic background, so in case of misdemeanors we could always confess our wrongdoings and go on with life.’
    • ‘It scared me so much that I spent the entire drive apologizing for every minor and major misdemeanor I'd ever committed in my life… for two days!’
    • ‘For example, in the AFL there are approximately 600 contracted footballers and in any one season, the misdemeanours of a few muddy the water for all.’
    • ‘The Tories want to bring in ‘zero tolerance’ policing in an effort to give communities more confidence that they will be protected from crime and warn the unruly that their misdemeanours will not go unnoticed.’
    wrongdoing, evil deed, crime, felony, criminal act
    misdeed, misconduct, offence, violation, error, peccadillo, transgression, sin
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Law
      A nonindictable offense, regarded in the US (and formerly in the UK) as less serious than a felony.
      • ‘A fourth violation results in a minor misdemeanor for the establishment and referral to the Ohio Department of Liquor Control.’
      • ‘Under federal law, it is a misdemeanor to commit safety violations that kill workers.’
      • ‘The fact that he pled guilty to a misdemeanor and not a felony, I believe, still is going to put him in some jeopardy with immigration.’
      • ‘Gradually the distinctions between felonies and misdemeanours were eroded by legislation.’
      • ‘Thousands were stopped for questioning and more than 400 arrested for mainly minor misdemeanours during a six-month police dragnet of the local area.’