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[muh-lig-nuh n-see] /məˈlɪg nən si/
noun, plural malignancies for 2, 3.
the quality or condition of being malignant.
malignant character, behavior, action, or the like:
the malignancies of war.
a malignant tumor.
Also, malignance (for defs 1, 2)
Origin of malignancy
First recorded in 1595-1605; malign(ant) + -ancy
Related forms
nonmalignance, noun
nonmalignancy, noun, plural nonmalignancies. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for malignance
Historical Examples
  • She's heard that the malignance of mummies, especially in museums, is incredible.

    It Happened in Egypt C. N. Williamson
  • There is, of course, in much of this something of the malignance of party.

  • Being but a little wisp of a man, all malignance and no courage, he would have fled when he saw me.

    The Master of Appleby

    Francis Lynde
  • There was malignance, there was red anger, but there was entreaty, the cry of a slave to a master.

    The Pursuit

    Frank (Frank Mackenzie) Savile
  • She was about to speak when he abruptly halted and faced her with a petrifying burst of malignance.

    Ewing\'s Lady Harry Leon Wilson
  • For some unexplainable reason the world, his particular world, seemed to have lost its malignance.

    The Real Man Francis Lynde
  • Soon afterward Eabani becomes ill, no doubt through the malignance of the goddess Ishtar.

  • She was hysterically, passionately spiteful—almost to the point of malignance.

    Robin Frances Hodgson Burnett
British Dictionary definitions for malignance


noun (pl) -cies
the state or quality of being malignant
(pathol) a cancerous growth
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 malignance



c.1600, "malignant nature," from malignant + -cy. Of growths, tumors, from 1680s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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malignance in Medicine

malignancy ma·lig·nan·cy (mə-lĭg'nən-sē)

  1. The state or quality of being malignant.

  2. A malignant tumor.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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