bad actor

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bad actor (plural bad actors)

  1. (idiomatic, law) Individual or entity with the prior criminal conviction, or who has been sanctioned by the court or regulator.
  2. (idiomatic) Ill-intentioned, mean, ill-tempered person.
  3. Used other than with a figurative or idiomatic meaning: see bad,‎ actor.


Usage notes[edit]

In the legal sense "bad actor" is also used in financial regulations, ex. not allowing such people or companies to participate in certain regulated processes, or to take advantage of certain privileges. Often used as opposed to "an upstanding citizen".