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Origin of malefactor

1400–50; late Middle English malefactour < Latin malefactor, equivalent to malefac(ere) to act wickedly, do an evil deed (see male-, fact) + -tor -tor

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Antonyms for malefactor Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for malefactor


  1. a criminal; wrongdoer
Derived Formsmalefaction, nounmalefactress, fem n

Word Origin for malefactor

C15: via Old French from Latin, from malefacere to do evil
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

Word Origin and History for malefactor

mid-15c., from Latin malefactor, agent noun from past participle stem of malefacere "to do evil," from male "badly" (see mal-) + facere "to perform" (see factitious).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper