[muh-lev-uh-luh nt]


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 formsma·lev·o·lent·ly, adverbun·ma·lev·o·lent, adjectiveun·ma·lev·o·lent·ly, adverb
Can be confusedmaleficent malevolent Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for malevolently

Historical Examples of malevolently

  • "Hullo," he growled, stopping short and eying him malevolently with lowered head.

    Good Indian

    B. M. Bower

  • Then I moved away, conscious that her eyes followed me malevolently.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service

  • The Indians stared at me malevolently, but offered me no abuse.

    A Virginia Scout

    Hugh Pendexter

  • Jim opened his mouth in a grin, and gazed long and malevolently at his questioner.

    Aaron's Rod

    D. H. Lawrence

  • "I've been trying to understand him for twenty-five years," the other said malevolently.

British Dictionary definitions for malevolently



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

Word Origin and History for malevolently



c.1500, from Middle French malivolent and directly from Latin malevolentem (nominative malevolens) "ill-disposed, spiteful, envious," from male "badly" (see mal-) + volentem (nominative volens), present participle of velle "to wish" (see will (v.)). Related: Malevolently.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper