malice aforethought

noun Law.
a predetermination to commit an unlawful act without just cause or provocation (applied chiefly to cases of first-degree murder).
Also called malice prepense.

1660–70 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
malice aforethought
1.  the predetermination to do an unlawful act, esp to kill or seriously injure
2.  murder See also manslaughter the intent with which an unlawful killing is effected, which must be proved for the crime to constitute murder

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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Example sentences
So it's not fair of me to accuse him of malice aforethought.
It is for a jury to decide whether the perp had malice aforethought.
Essentially, it is of no matter, as malice aforethought and deliberate design
  mean the same thing.
It's a matter of malice aforethought on the part of persons unknown.
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