[ muh-lish-uhs ]
See synonyms for: maliciousmaliciouslymaliciousness on

  1. full of, characterized by, or showing malice; intentionally harmful; spiteful: malicious gossip.

  2. Law. vicious, wanton, or mischievous in motivation or purpose.

Origin of malicious

First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English malicius, from Old French, from Latin malitiōsus; see malice, -ous

Other words from malicious

  • ma·li·cious·ly, adverb
  • ma·li·cious·ness, noun
  • non·ma·li·cious, adjective
  • non·ma·li·cious·ly, adverb
  • sem·i·ma·li·cious, adjective
  • sem·i·ma·li·cious·ly, adverb
  • un·ma·li·cious, adjective
  • un·ma·li·cious·ly, adverb

Words Nearby malicious Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use malicious in a sentence

  • "malicious destruction of property" could probably be proved without Tiger's testimony.

    Was Tiger a Victim? | Wendy Murphy | November 30, 2009 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • malicious persons in the town even declared that the lamented Torvestad had got his wife in a lottery at Christiansfeldt.

    Skipper Worse | Alexander Lange Kielland
  • malicious tongues went so far as to assert that he secretly and stealthily sold his handiwork.

    The Duel | A. I. Kuprin
  • malicious fate had assigned to the most diffident individual in the company the trying responsibility of leading the way.

    The Queen of Hearts | Wilkie Collins
  • malicious reports were also spread against them, which must have been almost harder to bear.

    A Book of Quaker Saints | Lucy Violet Hodgkin
  • malicious Fate, too, they felt, would even crown with the grand prix the number they would have chosen.

British Dictionary definitions for malicious


/ (məˈlɪʃəs) /

  1. characterized by malice

  2. motivated by wrongful, vicious, or mischievous purposes

Derived forms of malicious

  • maliciously, adverb
  • maliciousness, noun

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