Definitions

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

  • n. A desire to harm others or to see others suffer; extreme ill will or spite.
  • n. Law The intent, without just cause or reason, to commit a wrongful act that will result in harm to another.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Intention to harm or deprive in an illegal or immoral way. Desire to take pleasure in another's misfortune.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Enmity of heart; malevolence; ill will; a spirit delighting in harm or misfortune to another; a disposition to injure another; a malignant design of evil.
  • n. Any wicked or mischievous intention of the mind; a depraved inclination to mischief; an intention to vex, annoy, or injure another person, or to do a wrongful act without just cause or cause or excuse; a wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others; willfulness.
  • transitive v. To regard with extreme ill will.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To regard with malice; bear extreme ill-will to; also, to envy and hate.
  • n. Badness; bad quality.
  • n. Evil; harm; a malicious act; also, evil influence.
  • n. A propensity to inflict injury or suffering, or to take pleasure in the misfortunes of another or others; active ill-will, whether from natural disposition or special impulse; enmity; hatred: sometimes used in a lighter sense. See malicious, 1.
  • n. In law, a design or intention of doing mischief to another; the evil intention (either actual or implied) with which one deliberately, and without justification or excuse, does a wrongful act which is injurious to others.
  • n. Synonyms Ill-will, Enmity, etc. (see animosity); maliciousness, venom, spitefulness, depravity.
  • n. The common dwarf mallow, Malta rotundifolia.

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

  • n. feeling a need to see others suffer
  • n. the quality of threatening evil

Etymologies

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

Middle English, from Old French, from Latin malitia, from malus, bad; see mel-3 in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, from Old French, from Latin malitia ("badness, bad quality, ill-will, spite"), from malus ("bad").

Examples

  • II. i.146 (403,3) put on the vouch of very malice itself] _To put on the vouch of malice_, is to assume a character vouched by the testimony of malice itself.

    Notes to Shakespeare, Volume III: The Tragedies

  • In law the term malice and its adverbial form maliciously have two meanings: "legal malice" (also known as "malice in law"), and

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  • If your client is who I think he is, then the jury needs to know it because he would have been fleeing and he would have tried to kill the sheriff and he would have tried it with what you call malice in mind.

    Come the Spring

  • First by reason of the very inclination of a vicious habit which we call malice, and, in this way, to sin through malice is not the same as to sin against the Holy

    Summa Theologica, Part II-II (Secunda Secundae) Translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province

  • 'I really don't think it was altogether what you call malice, so much as the Lester idea of fun,' said Ellen, recovering herself after her outpouring.

    Chantry House

  • How anyone can view this as anything other than unconscionable malice is beyond me, but regardless of my opinion on the matter, god could just as easily have decreed that women are intellectual equals to men, and that they should be afforded the same rights as men in Israelite society.

    Harlan Ellison on God

  • Actual malice is also relevant to the quantum of damages.

    Archive 2009-10-01

  • Legal malice is implied from the mere publication of a defamatory communication.

    Archive 2009-10-01

  • In all cases, except where actual malice is shown nevertheless, the impugned statement is not actionable if it is the truth or is fair comment or is protected by privilege.

    Archive 2009-10-01

  • Stupidity rather than malice is the main reason bad things happen in genre.

    2010 January « paper fruit

Comments

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  • Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

    Hanlon's razor

    July 5, 2009

  • For my part, I own, madam, wit loses its respect with me, when I see it in company with malice.

    Sheridan, School for Scandal

    January 6, 2008