[mis-trahy-uhl, -trahyl]
noun Law.
a trial terminated without conclusion on the merits of the case because of some error in the proceedings.
an inconclusive trial, as where the jury cannot agree.

1620–30; mis-1 + trial

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To mistrial
World English Dictionary
mistrial (mɪsˈtraɪəl)
1.  a trial made void because of some error, such as a defect in procedure
2.  (in the US) an inconclusive trial, as when a jury cannot agree on a verdict

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

1628; see mis- (1) + trial.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica


in law, a trial that has been terminated and declared void before the tribunal can hand down a decision or render a verdict. The termination of a trial prematurely nullifies the preceding proceedings as if they had not taken place. Therefore, should another trial on the same charges, with the same defendants, be ordered, that trial would start from the beginning, with the previous testimony or other findings not necessarily relevant in the new court proceedings.

Learn more about mistrial with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Thus, the district court's finding that the government did not intend to provoke a mistrial was not clearly erroneous.
Defense counsel immediately objected and requested a mistrial and a hearing was conducted outside the presence of the jury.
If the jury cannot arrive at a verdict, the jury will be hung and a mistrial will be declared.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature