“Malfeasance was rampant on Wall Street in the 1980’s, when many firms were involved in bond lending, financial fraud, or insider trading, amongst other underhanded dealings.”

What is the best definition of malfeasance?

Check your answer!

Choice A - A scam that involves many people
Choice B - Putting in a great deal of effort
Choice C - Intentional wrongdoing or misconduct
Choice D - The process of sneakily evading the truth


Malfeasance (noun) – intentionally doing something bad or illegal; wrongdoing, especially by a public official

GRE pro tips:

You may have heard the term malfeasance on the news or, perhaps, in a legal setting. “Fease” is a rarely used English verb, meaning to execute a deed or action. Since the Latin root mal means “bad,” it makes sense that malfeasance can refer in general to any bad action, or misdeed. But, it is often used to describe transgressions committed by someone in a position of public trust. If a mayor accepts a bribe, for example, that mayor is guilty of malfeasance.

Example sentences:

“By accepting the bribe, the mayor committed malfeasance.”

“It’s questionable whether malfeasance that occurred prior to a president taking office can be considered as grounds for impeachment.”