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verb (used with object)
  1. to speak harmful untruths about; speak evil of; slander; defame: to malign an honorable man.
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  1. evil in effect; pernicious; baleful; injurious: The gloomy house had a malign influence upon her usually good mood.
  2. having or showing an evil disposition; malevolent; malicious.
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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

Synonyms for malign

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Antonyms for malign

1. praise.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for malign

sully, revile, tarnish, smear, taint, denigrate, insult, disparage, misrepresent, vilify, besmirch, defile, harm, accuse, pollute, soil, asperse, vituperate, rap, curse

Examples from the Web for malign

Contemporary Examples of malign

Historical Examples of malign

British Dictionary definitions for malign


  1. evil in influence, intention, or effect
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  1. (tr) to slander or defame
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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


early 14c., from Old French maligne "having an evil nature," from Latin malignus "wicked, bad-natured," from male "badly" (see mal-) + -gnus "born," from gignere "to bear, beget," from PIE root *gn- "to bear" (see genus).

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"to slander," mid-15c., from earlier more literal sense of "to plot, to contrive" (early 15c.), from Old French malignier "to plot, deceive, pervert," from Late Latin malignare "to do maliciously," from malignus (see malign (adj.)). Related: Maligned; maligning.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper