Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[muh-lev-uh-luh nt] /məˈlɛv ə lənt/
wishing evil or harm to another or others; showing ill will; ill-disposed; malicious:
His failures made him malevolent toward those who were successful.
evil; harmful; injurious:
a malevolent inclination to destroy the happiness of others.
Astrology. evil or malign in influence.
Origin of malevolent
1500-10; < Latin malevolent- (stem of malevolēns) ill-disposed, spiteful, equivalent to male- male- + volent- (stem of volēns), present participle of velle to want, wish for, desire (see will1, -ent)
Related forms
malevolently, adverb
unmalevolent, adjective
unmalevolently, adverb
Can be confused
maleficent, malevolent. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for malevolently
Historical Examples
  • "Hullo," he growled, stopping short and eying him malevolently with lowered head.

    Good Indian B. M. Bower
  • Then I moved away, conscious that her eyes followed me malevolently.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service
  • The Indians stared at me malevolently, but offered me no abuse.

    A Virginia Scout Hugh Pendexter
  • Jim opened his mouth in a grin, and gazed long and malevolently at his questioner.

    Aaron's Rod D. H. Lawrence
  • "I've been trying to understand him for twenty-five years," the other said malevolently.

    Carnac's Folly, Complete Gilbert Parker
  • "I wonder if she'd done it if she'd known all I know," continued the other malevolently.

    Satan Sanderson

    Hallie Erminie Rives
  • Its red eyes glowed at him malevolently in the glare of his chest-lamp.

    The Giants From Outer Space Geoff St. Reynard
  • On the footstool a Pekinese dog sat looking at him malevolently.

    Fairfax and His Pride Marie Van Vorst
  • In fact for a long time his power was malevolently checked by the Genevese.

    Catherine de' Medici Honore de Balzac
  • He was standing where they had left him, his eyes fastened on them malevolently.

    Gordon Keith

    Thomas Nelson Page
British Dictionary definitions for malevolently


wishing or appearing to wish evil to others; malicious
(astrology) having an evil influence
Derived Forms
malevolence, noun
malevolently, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Latin malevolens, from male ill + volens, present participle of velle to wish
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for malevolently



c.1500, from Middle French malivolent and directly from Latin malevolentem (nominative malevolens) "ill-disposed, spiteful, envious," from male "badly" (see mal-) + volentem (nominative volens), present participle of velle "to wish" (see will (v.)). Related: Malevolently.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for malevolently

Word Value for malevolently

Scrabble Words With Friends