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


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").


  • 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.

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

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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