misdemeanour

misdemeanor

[mis-di-mee-ner]
noun
1.
Law. a criminal offense defined as less serious than a felony.
2.
an instance of misbehavior; misdeed.
Also, especially British, misdemeanour.


Origin:
1480–90; mis-1 + demeanor

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Collins
World English Dictionary
misdemeanour or (US) misdemeanor (ˌmɪsdɪˈmiːnə)
 
n
1.  criminal law Compare felony (formerly) an offence generally less heinous than a felony and which until 1967 involved a different form of trial
2.  any minor offence or transgression
 
misdemeanor or (US) misdemeanor
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

misdemeanor
also misdemeanour, "legal class of indictable offenses," late 15c.; from mis- (1) "wrong" + M.E. demenure (see demeanor). Related: Misdemeanors; misdemeanours.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
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.
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