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mis·pri·sion 1

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.
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

Contempt; disdain.

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


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]


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


(mɪsˈprɪʒ ən)

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]


(mɪsˈprɪʒ ən)

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


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.
Indeed, he would later preface his collection of essays called Impact with "Of Misprision of Treason," a passage culled from the third volume of Coke's Institutes.
A corporation may be held liable for misprision of felony-the
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.
As the State of Texas cannot cede that which it does not own and never ceded my land or any other land not publicly recorded as being ceded by Land Patent to the federal government or any agency thereof, any rule made by any federal agency trying to perform "adverse possession of privately owned water is called: theft through fraud (previously conversion), assuming an authority that they do not have, official oppression, fraud, misprision, and several more.
Morgan shows that the misprision of Leo's careful argument is largely owing to the biased progressive interpretation of Msgr.
Shaayeva are defendants in the same criminal probe, and are charged with misprision of crime and abuse of power.
Karlin touches on some of the political ironies inherent in Sebald's misprision of Pippa's song: "[t]he material conditions of Pippa's life, the fact that she is exploited and vulnerable, that she is singing the hymn to natural beauty on her one day's holiday .
Whereas traditionally Virgil's claim to be a prophet has rested largely on a Christian misprision of his Fourth Eclogue's prediction of the prodigious birth of a son under the sign of a Virgin (Astrea) as inaugurating a new Golden Age, in his Aeneid Virgil forges prophecy in a much more significant sense, as inspired interpretation of history fraught with pertinence to possibilities for action in the present.
This has led to a quarter century of carping about his "absence of an editing consciousness," an indurated misprision arising from proscriptions innate to the critical community (the painter's celebrity notwithstanding, quite another matter entirely).
Thus, he establishes two of the ongoing themes of the work in the initial pages: the gulf between those in power and those lacking power and the misprision of an ethical crime (intentional or not).
Byer was suspended for a period of three years nunc pro tunc June 20, 2006, based on his plea of guilty to the federal charge of misprision of a felony.