- a combining form meaning “bad,” “wrongful,” “ill,” occurring originally in loanwords from French (malapert); on this model, used in the formation of other words (malfunction; malcontent).
Origin of mal-
Examples from the Web for mal
There is a phrase for the foreigners' rapture: mal d'afrique.Susan Minot on Africa, Joseph Kony, and the Limits of Writing About Love
February 10, 2014
“Mal,” properly speaking, seems to have been a certain tribute, as above.Y Gododin
That business of making Mal stick to the engagement was pretty silly.Cap'n Warren's Wards
Joseph C. Lincoln
Bon an, mal an, the time passed away at Princeton for four years.Memoirs
Charles Godfrey Leland
What methods did they adopt to counteract the discomfort of mal de mer?Ranching, Sport and Travel
His brain working feverishly, Mal Shaff waited for the darkness.Hellhounds of the Cosmos
Clifford Donald Simak
- Malaysia (international car registration)
- bad or badly; wrong or wrongly; imperfect or defectivemaladjusted; malfunction
- Bible Malachi
Word Origin and History for mal
word-forming element meaning "bad, badly, ill, poorly, wrong, wrongly," from French mal (adv.), from Old French mal (adj., adv.) "evil, ill, wrong, wrongly" (9c.), from Latin male (adv.) "badly," or malus (adj.) "bad, evil" (fem. mala, neuter malum), of unknown origin, perhaps related to Avestan mairiia "treacherous." Most Modern English words with this prefix are 19c. coinages.
- A disease or disorder.
- Bad; badly:malpractice.
- Abnormal; abnormally:malformation.