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90s Slang You Should Know


[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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for malevolently
Historical Examples
  • "Remember this—you'll never see them again, except through me," he said, malevolently.

  • "Hullo," he growled, stopping short and eying him malevolently with lowered head.

    Good Indian B. M. Bower
  • "Ay, and History too," said Mrs. Dale, malevolently—for the little temper was by no means blown over.

  • 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
  • Obviously this is a malevolently one-sided implication concerning the sources of capital.

    Distributive Justice John A. (John Augustine) Ryan
  • Its red eyes glowed at him malevolently in the glare of his chest-lamp.

    The Giants From Outer Space Geoff St. Reynard
  • Then I moved away, conscious that her eyes followed me malevolently.

    The Trail of '98 Robert W. Service
  • In fact for a long time his power was malevolently checked by the Genevese.

    Catherine de' Medici Honore de Balzac
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
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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
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