[ muh-lahyn ]
/ məˈlaɪn /

verb (used with object)

to speak harmful untruths about; speak evil of; slander; defame: to malign an honorable man.


evil in effect; pernicious; baleful; injurious: The gloomy house had a malign influence upon her usually good mood.
having or showing an evil disposition; malevolent; malicious.

Nearby words

  1. malice aforethought,
  2. malicious,
  3. malicious mischief,
  4. maliciously,
  5. maliciousness,
  6. malignancy,
  7. malignant,
  8. malignant anemia,
  9. malignant bubo,
  10. malignant ciliary epithelioma

Origin of malign

1275–1325; Middle English maligne < Middle French < Latin malignus. See mal-, benign

Related formsma·lign·er, nounma·lign·ly, adverbun·ma·ligned, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for malign

British Dictionary definitions for malign


/ (məˈlaɪn) /


evil in influence, intention, or effect


(tr) to slander or defame
Derived Formsmaligner, nounmalignly, adverb

Word Origin for malign

C14: via Old French from Latin malīgnus spiteful, 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 malign
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper