[muh-lef-uh-suh nt]


doing evil or harm; harmfully malicious: maleficent destroyers of reputations.

Origin of maleficent

1670–80; back formation from Latin maleficentia maleficence; see -ent
Can be confusedmaleficent malevolent Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for maleficent



causing or capable of producing evil or mischief; harmful or baleful
Derived Formsmalefic, adjectivemaleficence, noun

Word Origin for maleficent

C17: from Latin maleficent-, from maleficus wicked, prone to evil, from malum 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 maleficent

1670s, from Latin maleficent-, altered stem of maleficus (see malefic).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper