What word does your mother always say?


[mal-fee-zuh ns] /mælˈfi zəns/
noun, Law.
the performance by a public official of an act that is legally unjustified, harmful, or contrary to law; wrongdoing (used especially of an act in violation of a public trust).
Compare misfeasance (def 2), nonfeasance.
Origin of malfeasance
1690-1700; earlier malefeasance. See male-, feasance
Related forms
malfeasant, adjective, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for malfeasance
  • They will pay for their heavy handed malfeasance.
  • In Chicago, a babbling burglar was telling a gripping tale of police malfeasance.
  • These contrasting prosecutorial strategies raise difficult questions about the correct way to address corporate malfeasance.
  • And with those huge paychecks came renewed incentives for malfeasance.
  • New reports of possible malfeasance keep coming fast and furious.
  • With welfare gone, malfeasance is back.
  • Ward said the returns did not show any malfeasance.
  • Cricket is hardly immune from the stain of malfeasance.
  • He received almost no royalties from his music due to record-label malfeasance.
  • The evidence doesn't back you up while there is plenty of evidence of malfeasance in the private sector.
British Dictionary definitions for malfeasance


(law) the doing of a wrongful or illegal act, esp by a public official Compare misfeasance, nonfeasance
Derived Forms
malfeasant, noun, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Old French mal faisant, from mal evil + faisant doing, from faire to do, from Latin facere
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for malfeasance

1690s, from French malfaisance "wrongdoing," from malfaisant, from mal- "badly" (see mal-) + faisant, present participle of faire "to do," from Latin facere "to do" (see factitious). Malfeasor "wrong-doer" is attested from early 14c. Related: Malfeasant.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for malfeasance

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for malfeasance

Scrabble Words With Friends