the quality, state, or feeling of being malevolent; ill will; malice; hatred.

Origin of malevolence

1425–75; < Latin malevolentia (see malevolent, -ence); replacing late Middle English malivolence < Middle French < Latin as above

Synonyms for malevolence

maliciousness, spite, spitefulness, grudge, venom. Malevolence, malignity, rancor suggest the wishing of harm to others. Malevolence is a smoldering ill will: a vindictive malevolence in her expression. Malignity is a deep-seated and virulent disposition to injure; it is more dangerous than malevolence, because it is not only more completely concealed but it often instigates harmful acts: The malignity of his nature was shocking. Rancor is a lasting, corrosive, and implacable hatred and resentment. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for malevolence

Contemporary Examples of malevolence

Historical Examples of malevolence

  • But every eye was turned on Peter now, some in incredulity, some in malevolence, and some in awe.

    The Vagrant Duke

    George Gibbs

  • The malevolence of party has alone the merit of such an imputation.

    Lord Kilgobbin

    Charles Lever

  • Happy that it is NOT possible; the malevolence would disarm the power.


    Edward Bulwer Lytton

  • Both his malevolence and his cupidity had been disappointed.

  • Then his face stiffened, the light changed to a gleam of malevolence.

    Rimrock Trail

    J. Allan Dunn

Word Origin and History for malevolence

mid-15c., from Middle French malevolence and directly from Latin malevolentia "ill-will, dislike, hatred," from malevolentem (nominative malevolens) "malevolent" (see malevolent).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper