Definition of actus reus in English:

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actus reus

Pronunciation: /ˌaktəs ˈreɪəs/


[mass noun] Law
Action or conduct which is a constituent element of a crime, as opposed to the mental state of the accused: failure to prevent death may be the actus reus of manslaughter Compare with mens rea.
More example sentences
  • Now decide whether the elements of the actus reus are conduct, prohibited consequences, or circumstances.
  • The remaining portion would merely have held the intent to do so and lacked the required actus reus.
  • Generally, before conviction for a crime can take place, it must be shown that the accused committed the actus reus by either intending to do so or behaving carelessly in doing so.


Latin, literally 'guilty act'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: actus reus

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