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[mal-is] /ˈmæl ɪs/
desire to inflict injury, harm, or suffering on another, either because of a hostile impulse or out of deep-seated meanness:
the malice and spite of a lifelong enemy.
Law. evil intent on the part of a person who commits a wrongful act injurious to others.
Origin of malice
1250-1300; Middle English < Old French < Latin malitia. See mal-, -ice
1. ill will, spite, spitefulness; animosity, enmity; malevolence; venom, hate, hatred; bitterness, rancor. See grudge.
1. benevolence, goodwill. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for malice
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • To hold him guilty, here or elsewhere, of malice or hypocrisy, is to misread his character.

    William Penn George Hodges
  • At least, release my gentle sister, and pour out all your malice on me.

    The Last of the Mohicans James Fenimore Cooper
  • He saw it, and the sparkle of malice in his eyes flashed into sudden anger.

    The Bridge of the Gods Frederic Homer Balch
  • You seem to come like my own anger, my own malice, my own—whatever it is—I don't know what it is.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • Few or none of the famous men that have lived escaped being calumniated by malice.

British Dictionary definitions for malice


the desire to do harm or mischief
evil intent
(law) the state of mind with which an act is committed and from which the intent to do wrong may be inferred See also malice aforethought
Word Origin
C13: via Old French from Latin malitia, from malus evil
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for malice

c.1300, "desire to hurt another," from Old French malice "ill will, spite, sinfulness, wickedness" (12c.), from Latin malitia "badness, ill will, spite," from malus "bad" (see mal-). In legal use, "wrongful intent generally" (1540s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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