malignant

[muh-lig-nuhnt]
adjective
1.
disposed to cause harm, suffering, or distress deliberately; feeling or showing ill will or hatred.
2.
very dangerous or harmful in influence or effect.
3.
Pathology.
a.
tending to produce death, as bubonic plague.
b.
(of a tumor) characterized by uncontrolled growth; cancerous, invasive, or metastatic.

Origin:
1535–45; < Late Latin malignant- (stem of malignāns), present participle of malignāre to act maliciously. See malign, -ant

malignantly, adverb
nonmalignant, adjective
nonmalignantly, adverb
semimalignant, adjective
semimalignantly, adverb
unmalignant, adjective
unmalignantly, adverb


1. spiteful, malevolent. 2. perilous, hurtful, pernicious.


1–3. benign.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
malignant (məˈlɪɡnənt)
 
adj
1.  having or showing desire to harm others
2.  tending to cause great harm; injurious
3.  pathol (of a tumour) uncontrollable or resistant to therapy; rapidly spreading
 
n
4.  history (in the English Civil War) a Parliamentarian term for a royalist
 
[C16: from Late Latin malīgnāre to behave spitefully, from Latin malīgnusmalign]
 
ma'lignantly
 
adv

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

malignant
1568, in ref. to diseases, from L. malignans, prp. of malignere (see malign (adj.)). Earlier in the church malignant "followers of the antichrist," from L. ecclesiam malignantum in early Church writing, applied by Protestant writers to the Church in Rome (1542).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

malignant ma·lig·nant (mə-lĭg'nənt)
adj.

  1. Threatening to life, as a disease; virulent.

  2. Tending to metastasize; cancerous. Used of a tumor.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
malignant   (mə-lĭg'nənt)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. Tending to have a destructive clinical course, as a malignant illness.

  2. Relating to cancer cells that are invasive and tend to metastasize. Malignant tumor cells are histologically more primitive than normal tissue. Compare benign.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

malignant definition


A descriptive term for things or conditions that threaten life or well-being. Malignant is the opposite of benign.

Note: The term malignant is used in describing cancerous tumors (see cancer) because such growths are a threat to the health of the individual.
Note: The term is often used in a general way to denote something that is both destructive and fast growing: “The malignant growth of the suburbs is destroying the landscape.”
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
In some cases, uncontrolled growth of neural stem cells has been linked to
  malignant brain tumors.
Too often the apparently benign civil audit is really a malignant criminal
  investigation.
He focuses on the effects of “malignant competition” that lead to
  profitless growth and a desperate lurch into overseas markets.
Exposure to radiation in large amounts will increase malignant disease; small
  amounts may possibly do the same.
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