[ mal-is ]
/ ˈmæl ɪs /


desire to inflict injury, harm, or suffering on another, either because of a hostile impulse or out of deep-seated meanness: the malice and spite of a lifelong enemy.
Law. evil intent on the part of a person who commits a wrongful act injurious to others.

Nearby words

  1. mali empire,
  2. malibran,
  3. malibu board,
  4. malic,
  5. malic acid,
  6. malice aforethought,
  7. malicious,
  8. malicious mischief,
  9. maliciously,
  10. maliciousness

Origin of malice

1250–1300; Middle English < Old French < Latin malitia. See mal-, -ice Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for malice

British Dictionary definitions for malice


/ (ˈmælɪs) /


the desire to do harm or mischief
evil intent
law the state of mind with which an act is committed and from which the intent to do wrong may be inferredSee also malice aforethought

Word Origin for malice

C13: via Old French from Latin malitia, from malus 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 malice



c.1300, "desire to hurt another," from Old French malice "ill will, spite, sinfulness, wickedness" (12c.), from Latin malitia "badness, ill will, spite," from malus "bad" (see mal-). In legal use, "wrongful intent generally" (1540s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper