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

  • transitive v. To make evil, harmful, and often untrue statements about; speak evil of.
  • adj. Evil in disposition, nature, or intent.
  • adj. Evil in influence; injurious.
  • adj. Having or showing malice or ill will; malevolent.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. evil or malignant in disposition, nature, intent or influence.
  • adj. malevolent.
  • v. To make defamatory statements about someone or something.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • To treat with extreme enmity; injure maliciously.
  • To speak evil of; traduce; defame; vilify.
  • Synonyms Defame, Calumniate, etc. See asperse.
  • To entertain malice.

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

  • adj. having or exerting a malignant influence
  • adj. evil or harmful in nature or influence
  • v. speak unfavorably about


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.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Via French from Latin malignus, from malus (bad) + genus (sort, kind). Compare benign. (Wiktionary)



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