Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Nonfeasance

Quick Summary of Nonfeasance

a failure to act when under an obligation to do so; a refusal (without sufficient excuse) to do that which it is your legal duty to do

What is the dictionary definition of Nonfeasance?

Dictionary Definition

  1. legal The intentional failure to perform an official duty or legal requirement.
  2. legal The lack of liability associated with the failure to act.

Full Definition of Nonfeasance

Nonfeasance occurs when an individual has a legal duty which they fail to perform. Nonfeasance generally relates to a duty which is outlined in a contract, although people can also be held liable for nonfeasance if the court deems that it was reasonable to expect them to engage in an action.

Nonfeasance is a concept which is similar to malfeasance, which is an intentional act of wrongdoing, and misfeasance, which is an action or duty performed incorrectly. An example of nonfeasance could be the failure to repay a loan in a timely manner as indicated in a loan agreement. If someone did not repay a loan the creditor has the legal right to remedy in some cases which can include liens on property, repossession or wage garnishments. For nonfeasance, the party bringing the suit must simply prove that the individual failed to act. In comparison, a personal injury is generally an act of misfeasance where the person’s actions were negligent and the negligence caused injury or loss.

Cite Term

To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.

Page URL
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Nonfeasance. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. May 25, 2020
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Nonfeasance. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. (accessed: May 25, 2020).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Nonfeasance. Retrieved May 25, 2020, from website:

Definition Sources

Definitions for Nonfeasance are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 31st March, 2020 | 0 Views.