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[mis-trahy-uh l, -trahyl] /mɪsˈtraɪ əl, -ˈtraɪl/
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 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for mistrial
  • 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.
British Dictionary definitions for mistrial


a trial made void because of some error, such as a defect in procedure
(in the US) an inconclusive trial, as when a jury cannot agree on a verdict
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
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Word Origin and History for mistrial

1620s; see mis- (1) + trial (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for mistrial

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
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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