follow Dictionary.com

Your favorite word could be our Word of the Day!

mens rea

[menz ree-uh] /ˈmɛnz ˈri ə/
noun, Law.
1.
a criminal intent.
Origin
1860-1865
1860-65; < Neo-Latin mēns rea
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for mens-rea

mens rea

/ˈmɛnz ˈreɪə/
noun
1.
(law) a criminal intention or knowledge that an act is wrong. It is assumed to be an ingredient of all criminal offences although some minor statutory offences are punishable irrespective of it Compare actus reus
Word Origin
Latin, literally: guilty mind
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 mens-rea

mens rea

Latin phrase meaning "guilty mind."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for mens-rea

mens rea

in Anglo-American law, criminal intent or evil mind. In general, the definition of a criminal offense involves not only an act or omission and its consequences but also the accompanying mental state of the actor. All criminal systems require an element of criminal intent for most crimes. Only Anglo-American systems, however, employ the term mens rea. Countries such as France and Japan simply specify that there must be a criminal intent unless a specific statute directs otherwise.

Learn more about mens rea with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for mens rea

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for mens

0
0
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with mens-rea

Nearby words for mens-rea