a combining form meaning “bad,” “wrongful,” “ill,” occurring originally in loanwords from French (malapert ); on this model, used in the formation of other words (malfunction; malcontent ).
Compare male-.

Middle English < Old French, representing mal adv. (< Latin male badly, ill) and adj. (< Latin malus bad) Unabridged



a Minor Prophet of the 5th century b.c.
the book of the Bible bearing his name. Abbreviation: Mal.
Also, Douay Bible, Malachias [mal-uh-kahy-uhs] . Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
abbreviation for
Malaysia (international car registration)

abbreviation for
1.  Bible Malachi
2.  Malay(an)

combining form
bad or badly; wrong or wrongly; imperfect or defective: maladjusted; malfunction
[Old French, from Latin malus bad, male badly]

Malachi (ˈmæləˌkaɪ)
1.  a Hebrew prophet of the 5th century bc
2.  Douay spelling: Malachias the book containing his oracles

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

prefix meaning "bad, badly, ill," from Fr., from O.Fr. mal "evil, ill, wrong, wrongly," from L. male (adv.) "badly," or malus (adj.) "bad, evil" (fem. mala, neut. malum), of unknown origin, perhaps related to Avestan mairiia "treacherous." Most Mod.Eng. words with this prefix are 19c. coinages (malnutrition,
malodorous, etc.).

masc. proper name, O.T. name of the last in order of the Twelve Prophets, from Heb. Mal'akhi, lit. "my messenger," from mal'akh "messenger," from Sem. base l-'-k (cf. Arabic la'aka "he sent").
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

mal (māl, mäl)
A disease or disorder.

mal- pref.

  1. Bad; badly: malpractice.

  2. Abnormal; abnormally: malformation.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Computing Dictionary

MAL definition

Micro Assembly Language

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
Malaysia (international vehicle ID)
  1. Malachi

  2. Malawi

  3. Malawian

  4. Malay

  5. Malaysia

  6. Malaysian

The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Bible Dictionary

Malachi definition

messenger or angel, the last of the minor prophets, and the writer of the last book of the Old Testament canon (Mal. 4:4, 5, 6). Nothing is known of him beyond what is contained in his book of prophecies. Some have supposed that the name is simply a title descriptive of his character as a messenger of Jehovah, and not a proper name. There is reason, however, to conclude that Malachi was the ordinary name of the prophet. He was contemporary with Nehemiah (comp. Mal. 2:8 with Neh. 13:15; Mal. 2:10-16 with Neh. 13:23). No allusion is made to him by Ezra, and he does not mention the restoration of the temple, and hence it is inferred that he prophesied after Haggai and Zechariah, and when the temple services were still in existence (Mal. 1:10; 3:1, 10). It is probable that he delivered his prophecies about B.C. 420, after the second return of Nehemiah from Persia (Neh. 13:6), or possibly before his return.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Example sentences
About ten minutes into his lecture he had a grand mal seizure.
He did not conspire with mal-intent, therefore the ends do not justify the means.
Zealous anti-nuclear lobbyists and a mal-informed government have created the pending energy crisis.
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