A crime usually punishable upon conviction by a small fine or by a short term of imprisonment. Crimes which are punishable by large fines or by longer imprisonment are usually called felonies.
Syn: petty crime

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  • misdemeanor — mis·de·mean·or /ˌmis di mē nər/ n: a crime that carries a less severe punishment than a felony; specif: a crime punishable by a fine and by a term of imprisonment not to be served in a penitentiary and not to exceed one year compare felony… …   Law dictionary

  • Misdemeanor — Mis de*mean or, n. 1. Ill behavior; evil conduct; fault. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. (Law) A crime less than a felony. Wharton. [1913 Webster] Note: As a rule, in the old English law, offenses capitally punishable were felonies; all other indictable… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • misdemeanor — (n.) also misdemeanour, legal class of indictable offenses, late 15c.; from MIS (Cf. mis ) (1) wrong + M.E. demenure (see DEMEANOR (Cf. demeanor)). Related: Misdemeanors; misdemeanours …   Etymology dictionary

  • misdemeanor — [mis΄də mēn′ər] n. [ MIS 1 + DEMEANOR] 1. Rare the act of misbehaving 2. Law any minor offense, as the breaking of a municipal ordinance, for which statute provides a lesser punishment than for a felony: the penalty is usually a fine or… …   English World dictionary

  • Misdemeanor — For other uses, see Misdemeanor (disambiguation). Criminal law …   Wikipedia

  • misdemeanor — noun Misdemeanor is used before these nouns: ↑assault, ↑charge …   Collocations dictionary

  • misdemeanor — mis|de|mean|or [ ,mısdı minər ] noun count LEGAL a crime that is not as serious as a felony: His wife pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor. a. MAINLY LITERARY a minor act of doing wrong …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • misdemeanor — n. to commit a misdemeanor …   Combinatory dictionary

  • misdemeanor — misdeed / misdemeanor [n] sin, crime breach of law, criminality, dirt*, dirty deed*, dirty pool*, fault, infringement, malefaction, misbehavior, misconduct, miscue, offense, peccadillo, slipup, transgression, trespass, villainy, violation, wrong …   New thesaurus

  • misdemeanor — /misdamiynar/ Offenses lower than felonies and generally those punishable by fine, penalty, forfeiture or imprisonment otherwise than in penitentiary. Under federal law, and most state laws, any offense other than a felony is classified as a… …   Black's law dictionary

  • misdemeanor — Customarily, an indictable offense not amounting to a felony, but sometimes including offenses not punishable by indictment. Commonwealth v Cano, 389 Pa 639, 133 A2d 800, cert den and app dismd 355 US 182, 2 L Ed 2d 186, 78 S Ct 267. The… …   Ballentine's law dictionary

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