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[muh-lish-uh s] /məˈlɪʃ əs/
full of, characterized by, or showing malice; intentionally harmful; spiteful:
malicious gossip.
Law. vicious, wanton, or mischievous in motivation or purpose.
Origin of malicious
1175-1225; Middle English malicius < Old French < Latin malitiōsus. See malice, -ous
Related forms
maliciously, adverb
maliciousness, noun
nonmalicious, adjective
nonmaliciously, adverb
nonmaliciousness, noun
semimalicious, adjective
semimaliciously, adverb
semimaliciousness, noun
unmalicious, adjective
unmaliciously, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for malicious
  • Some people are just malicious I suppose.
  • Tales of actors' career trajectories are informative without being malicious.
  • The accidental delinquent acts impulsively and without malicious forethought.
  • These are the types of files that most often contain malicious code.
  • Sidney, in a fit of malicious mischief, dumped a whole box of detergent into her washer.
  • If the message is malicious, you will find your computer infected by a virus.
  • It's disrespectful, although I don't feel it's malicious on their part.
  • Analysis of the company's computers ruled out the possibility of a malicious insider.
  • Disinformation is malicious, and is designed to protect and increase industry profits at the expense of sane public policy.
  • Some enterprising hackers have injected malicious software code into user comments and ads with links to popular e-commerce sites.
British Dictionary definitions for malicious


characterized by malice
motivated by wrongful, vicious, or mischievous purposes
Derived Forms
maliciously, adverb
maliciousness, noun
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 malicious

early 13c., from Old French malicios "showing ill will, spiteful, wicked" (Modern French malicieux), from Latin malitiosus "wicked, malicious," from malitia "badness, ill will, spite," from malus "bad" (see mal-). In legal use (early 14c., Anglo-French), it means "characterized by malice prepense."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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