Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To make evil, harmful, and often untrue statements about (someone).
  • adjective Evil or harmful in nature or effect.
  • adjective Intending or threatening harm or ill will; malevolent.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To treat with extreme enmity; injure maliciously.
  • To speak evil of; traduce; defame; vilify.
  • Synonyms Defame, Calumniate, etc. See asperse.
  • To entertain malice.
  • Having a very evil disposition toward others; harboring violent hatred or enmity; malicious.
  • Unpropitious; pernicious; tending to injure; likely to do or cause great harm: as, the malign influence of a designing knave.
  • In astrology, having an evil influence.
  • Malignant.
  • Synonyms See list under malignant.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb obsolete To entertain malice.
  • adjective Having an evil disposition toward others; harboring violent enmity; malevolent; malicious; spiteful; -- opposed to benign.
  • adjective Unfavorable; unpropitious; pernicious; tending to injure.
  • adjective rare Malignant.
  • transitive verb obsolete To treat with malice; to show hatred toward; to abuse; to wrong; to injure.
  • transitive verb To speak great evil of; to traduce; to defame; to slander; to vilify; to asperse.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective evil or malignant in disposition, nature, intent or influence.
  • adjective malevolent.
  • verb transitive To make defamatory statements about someone or something.

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

  • adjective having or exerting a malignant influence
  • adjective evil or harmful in nature or influence
  • verb speak unfavorably about

Etymologies

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

[Middle English malignen, to attack, from Old French malignier, from Late Latin malignārī, from Latin malignus, malign; see genə- in Indo-European roots. Adj., from Middle English, from Old French, from Latin malignus.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Via French from Latin malignus, from malus (bad) + genus (sort, kind). Compare benign.

Examples

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