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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
  • Most dealers attribute these troubles more to ignorance than malice, although scammers are not unknown.
  • The spines of cholla glow, their prickly malice deceptively rendered as a benign woolly aura.
  • Of course, there also seems to be a bit of malice in their online shenanigans.
  • Even with my car in storage in another state, I can feel its vibes of subtle malice reaching out, trying to ruin my life.
  • Their tastes for malice and melodrama are much the same.
  • In the case of the two newspapers, the issue was malice — writers deliberately making up things.
  • But he didn't seem to make the moves for malice or for personal gain.
  • Yet for all the shattering of their lives and glacial pace of rebuilding, neither is marked by hatred or malice.
  • It isn't about lack of empathy or malice, people just can't comprehend outsiders the way we do members of our own group.
  • Worse is when actual malice is the motivation for bad advice.
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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