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or (especially British) misdemeanour

[mis-di-mee-ner] /ˌmɪs dɪˈmi nər/
Law. a criminal offense defined as less serious than a felony.
an instance of misbehavior; misdeed.
Origin of misdemeanor
1480-90; mis-1 + demeanor Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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also misdemeanour, "legal class of indictable offenses," late 15c.; from mis- (1) "wrong" + Middle English demenure (see demeanor). Related: Misdemeanors; misdemeanours.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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misdemeanor in Culture
misdemeanor [(mis-di-mee-nuhr)]

A minor crime, punishable by a fine or a light jail term. Common misdemeanors, such as traffic violations, are usually dealt with informally, without a trial. (Compare felony.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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