Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Having or exhibiting ill will; wishing harm to others; malicious.
  • adj. Having an evil or harmful influence: malevolent stars.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. having or displaying ill will; wishing harm on others
  • adj. having an evil or harmful influence

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Wishing evil; disposed to injure others; rejoicing in another's misfortune.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Having an evil disposition toward another or others; wishing evil to others; rejoicing in another's misfortune; malicious; hostile.
  • In astrology, tending to exert an evil influence: thus, Saturn is said to be a malevolent planet.
  • Synonyms Evil-minded, ill-disposed, spiteful, resentful, bitter, rancorous, malignant. See animosity.
  • n. A malevolent person or agency.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. having or exerting a malignant influence
  • adj. wishing or appearing to wish evil to others; arising from intense ill will or hatred

Etymologies

Latin malevolēns, malevolent-; see malevolence.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin, from male ("ill") + velle ("to wish"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Griffin grinned at her, his face wreathed in an expression of malevolent mischievousness.

    The Priest

  • Related to spam, but even more malevolent, is phishing -- a deliberate attempt to illegally gain access to personal information.

    The Internet Battlefield: Working to Support Online Safety

  • She pinpointed the locations of the positive ley lines under the ground, and carefully dowsed the inside of the church for noxious rays, evil emanations, and something she called malevolent attachments.

    Water Witches

  • He calls her malevolent, naive and "essentially sour and without hope," and says she "writes as if personality, appearance, and attitude were the only things that mattered."

    Maureen Dowd begins the next volume in her series of novels, A Dance to the Music of My Ego and Id

  • Certainly using the griefer tag is inappropriate as it immediately lumps in the incompetent with the malevolent, which is useless from a design perspective since both groups respond to very different carrots.

    What to Call a Griefer?

  • Malignant: dangerous to health; also used to refer to malevolent people.

    YOU The Smart Patient

  • Behind her, the security cops sported crooked grins while Mother contemplated Kaitlin with what could only be described as a malevolent smile.

    The Shattered Blue Line

  • Still and all, when I say there is something "insidious" about the taste of Dutch Coca-Cola she hs to ask what insidious means -- she knows what it means, but she just has to check, because she doesn't understand why I would choose such a word -- I revised to "malevolent" -- to describe such a benign thing.

    evolver Diary Entry

  • It was supposed that these reptiles were intended to embody the idea of malevolent spirits, and that the piece of sculpture might have been designed to represent a myth, probably in reference to the machinations of the infernal world.

    The American Architect and Building News, Vol. 27, Jan-Mar, 1890

  • Jessica Valenti's powerful, broad-ranging treatise is an accessible and important polemic in the struggle against what I can only describe as a malevolent vision of humanity and sexuality.

    Hugo Schwyzer

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