[ muh-lish-uh s ]
/ məˈlɪʃ əs /


full of, characterized by, or showing malice; intentionally harmful; spiteful: malicious gossip.
Law. vicious, wanton, or mischievous in motivation or purpose.

Origin of malicious

1175–1225; Middle English malicius < Old French < Latin malitiōsus. See malice, -ous
Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for malicious

British Dictionary definitions for malicious


/ (məˈlɪʃəs) /


characterized by malice
motivated by wrongful, vicious, or mischievous purposes
Derived Formsmaliciously, adverbmaliciousness, 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

Word Origin and History for malicious



early 13c., from Old French malicios "showing ill will, spiteful, wicked" (Modern French malicieux), from Latin malitiosus "wicked, malicious," from malitia "badness, ill will, spite," from malus "bad" (see mal-). In legal use (early 14c., Anglo-French), it means "characterized by malice prepense."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper