1 [mis-prizh-uhn]
a neglect or violation of official duty by one in office.
failure by one not an accessory to prevent or notify the authorities of treason or felony.
a contempt against the government, monarch, or courts, as sedition, lese majesty, or a contempt of court.
a mistake; misunderstanding.

1375–1425; late Middle English < Anglo-French, Old French mesprision, equivalent to mes- mis-1 + prision < Latin prēnsiōn-, variant of prehēnsiōn- (stem of prehēnsiō) prehension

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2 [mis-prizh-uhn]
contempt or scorn.

1580–90; misprise + -ion

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
misprision1 (mɪsˈprɪʒən)
a.  a failure to inform the proper authorities of the commission of an act of treason
 b.  the deliberate concealment of the commission of a felony
[C15: via Anglo-French from Old French mesprision error, from mesprendre to mistake, from mes-mis-1 + prendre to take]

misprision2 (mɪsˈprɪʒən)
1.  contempt
2.  failure to appreciate the value of something
[C16: from misprize]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

"wrong action, a failure on the part of authority," 1425, from Anglo-Fr. mesprisioun "mistake, error, wrong action or speech," from O.Fr. mespris, pp. of mesprendre "to mistake, act wrongly," from mes- "wrongly" (see mis- (2)) + prendre "take," from L. prendere, contracted from prehendere "seize" (see
prehensile). In 16c., misprision of treason was used for lesser degrees of guilt (those not subject to capital punishment), esp. for knowing of treasonable actions or plots but not informing the authorities. This led to the common supposition in legal writers that the word means "failure to denounce" a crime.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


in law, criminal misconduct of various types. Concealment of a serious crime by one who knows of its commission but was not a party to it is misprision. Similarly, the failure of a citizen to attempt to prevent the perpetration of an offense can be characterized as misprision. (See also accomplice; accessory; and abettor.)

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Bloom locates this swerve in a misreading or misprision, the simplest of his relations.
The same reasoning can be applied to misprision of the carjacking.
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