[ muh-lev-uh-luh nt ]
/ məˈlɛv ə lənt /


wishing evil or harm to another or others; showing ill will; ill-disposed; malicious: His failures made him malevolent toward those who were successful.
evil; harmful; injurious: a malevolent inclination to destroy the happiness of others.
Astrology. evil or malign in influence.

Origin of malevolent

1500–10; < Latin malevolent- (stem of malevolēns) ill-disposed, spiteful, equivalent to male- male- + volent- (stem of volēns), present participle of velle to want, wish for, desire (see will1, -ent)

Related forms

ma·lev·o·lent·ly, adverbun·ma·lev·o·lent, adjectiveun·ma·lev·o·lent·ly, adverb

Can be confused

maleficent malevolent Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for malevolently

British Dictionary definitions for malevolently


/ (məˈlɛvələnt) /


wishing or appearing to wish evil to others; malicious
astrology having an evil influence

Derived Forms

malevolence, nounmalevolently, adverb

Word Origin for malevolent

C16: from Latin malevolens, from male ill + volens, present participle of velle to wish
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