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misconduct

Meaning: a euphemism for crimes committed by professionals, business people, corrupt officials, the police and the military

For example:

  • Tax officials are suspected of misconduct after secret bank accounts containing millions of dollars were found.

  • After several detainees were badly beaten, their guards were accused of serious misconduct.

Note: Used to make certain crimes sound less serious, esp. crimes committed by professionals and business people like fraud, tax evasion and theft of company money. It's also used to describe corruption by state officials and crimes committed by the police like falsifying evidence and taking bribes, and by military or security personnel such as assault and torture.

Quick Quiz:

Theft from a bank might be called "misconduct" if it's done by

a. a bank robber

b. a bank's manager

c. a bank's security guard

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Contributor: Matt Errey