(A) A crime which is less serious than a felony and is punishable by no more than one year in jail. Any crime not a felony is a misdemeanor. Petty theft (of articles worth less than a small amount) is an example of a common misdemeanor. (B) crim. law. This term is used to express every offence inferior to felony, punishable by indictment, or by particular prescribed proceedings; in its usual acceptation, it is applied to all those crimes and offences for which the law has not provided a particular name; this word is generally used in contradistinction to felony; misdemeanors comprehending all indictable offences, which do not amount to felony, as perjury, battery, libels, conspiracies and public nuisances. 2. Misdemeanors have sometimes been called misprisions. (C)
Law Dictionary – Alternative Legal Definition
In criminal law. A general name for criminal offenses of every sort, punishable by indictment or special proceedings, which do not in law amount to the grade of felony. A misdemeanor is an act committed or omitted in violation of a public law either forbidding or commanding it. This general definition, however, comprehends both “crimes” and “misdemeanors,” which, properly speaking, are mere synonymous terms; though, in common usage, the word “crimes” is made to denote such offenses as are of a deeper and more atrocious dye; while smaller faults and omissions of less consequence are comprised under the milder term of “misdemeanors” only. In the English law, “misdemeanor” is generally used in contradistinction to “felony;” and misdemeanors comprehend all indictable offenses which do not amount to felony, as libels, conspiracies, attempts, and solicitations to commit felonies, etc.