The Closing Word: Malfeasance

The Closing Word: MalfeasanceThis week we continue our vocabulary-building series, “The Closing Word.” Each week we provide a new word to help build your vocabulary and show you an example of how to use it.

This week’s closing word:


Pronounced: (mal-FEE-since)

wrongful conduct by a public official

From “If nothing else, the mal- in malfeasance will alert you to the fact that something bad is going on. If you know French, fease-faise- will ring a bell, as it often means “to do.” You can probably then infer that malfeasance means “to do bad.” Today, it’s usually a bad deed done by an official or an organization. You wouldn’t accuse a dog who peed on the carpet of malfeasance, but you would accuse a mayor who took a bribe of malfeasance.”

“Investigators discovered the senator had been accepting secret cash gifts from industry lobbyists, and it was this malfeasance which brought him down.”


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