malice aforethought


noun Law.

a predetermination to commit an unlawful act without just cause or provocation (applied chiefly to cases of first-degree murder).

Origin of malice aforethought

First recorded in 1660–70
Also called malice prepense.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for malice aforethought

malice aforethought


noun criminal law

the predetermination to do an unlawful act, esp to kill or seriously injure
the intent with which an unlawful killing is effected, which must be proved for the crime to constitute murderSee also murder, manslaughter
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