misprision

(redirected from Misprision of treason)
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mis·pri·sion 1

 (mĭs-prĭzh′ən)
n.
1. Neglect in performing the duties of public office.
2. Law The criminal offense of concealing, or neglecting to report or prevent, a felony or act of treason one had knowledge of but did not participate in: misprision of a felony; misprision of treason.
3. Seditious conduct.
4.
a. Misunderstanding or misinterpretation: "to show that everything once viewed as truth and light is no more than shadow and misprision" (Edward Rothstein).
b. A misreading or misinterpretation of a text, especially as a means of distinguishing oneself from a literary predecessor.

[Middle English, illegal act on the part of a public official, from Anglo-Norman, mistake, misdeed, variant of Old French mesprison, from mespris, past participle of mesprendre, to make a mistake : mes-, wrongly; see mis-1 + prendre, to take, seize (from Latin prehendere, prēndere; see ghend- in Indo-European roots).]

mis·pri·sion 2

 (mĭs-prĭzh′ən)
n.
Contempt; disdain.

[mispris(e) (variant of misprize) + -ion.]

misprision

(mɪsˈprɪʒən)
n
(Law)
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]

misprision

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

mis•pri•sion1

(mɪsˈprɪʒ ən)

n.
1. a neglect or violation of official duty by one in office.
2. failure by one not an accessory to prevent or notify the authorities of treason or felony.
3. a contempt against the government or courts, as sedition or contempt of court.
4. a mistake; misunderstanding.
[1375–1425; late Middle English < Anglo-French, Old French mesprision=mes- mis-1 + prision < Latin pr(eh)ēnsiōnem; see prehension]

mis•pri•sion2

(mɪsˈprɪʒ ən)

n.
contempt or scorn.
[1580–90; misprize + -ion, on the model of misprision1]

misprision

improper conduct or neglectful behavior, especially by a person who holds public office.
See also: Crime
Mentioned in ?
References in classic literature ?
Borthrop Trumbull really knew nothing about old Featherstone's will; but he could hardly have been brought to declare any ignorance unless he had been arrested for misprision of treason.
House debate on the Senate bill clarified that suspension of habeas corpus "in certain cases" referred to persons "charged on oath with treason, misprision of treason, or other high crime or misdemeanor.
and British governments, however, the Dole Government dismissed that charge and instead tried the Hawaiian monarch for misprision of treason, which was not a death penalty offense.
In English common law, the separate offense of misprision of treason derived from the premise that a person who does not report that another is planning a treasonable offense should be deemed to be committing treason.