Improper and unlawful execution of an act that in itself is lawful and proper.
[Anglo-Norman mesfesaunce, from mesfere, to do wrong : mes-, wrongly (from Old French; see MIS-1) + fere, to do (from Latin facere; see dhē- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots).]
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.