[muh-lig-nuh n-see]
See more synonyms for malignancy on
noun, plural ma·lig·nan·cies for 2, 3.
  1. the quality or condition of being malignant.
  2. malignant character, behavior, action, or the like: the malignancies of war.
  3. a malignant tumor.
Also ma·lig·nance (for defs 1, 2).

Origin of malignancy

First recorded in 1595–1605; malign(ant) + -ancy
Related formsnon·ma·lig·nance, nounnon·ma·lig·nan·cy, noun, plural non·ma·lig·nan·cies. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for malignance

Historical Examples of malignance

  • She's heard that the malignance of mummies, especially in museums, is incredible.

    It Happened in Egypt

    C. N. Williamson

  • There is, of course, in much of this something of the malignance of party.

  • Being but a little wisp of a man, all malignance and no courage, he would have fled when he saw me.

  • There was malignance, there was red anger, but there was entreaty, the cry of a slave to a master.

    The Pursuit

    Frank (Frank Mackenzie) Savile

  • She was about to speak when he abruptly halted and faced her with a petrifying burst of malignance.

    Ewing\'s Lady

    Harry Leon Wilson

British Dictionary definitions for malignance


noun plural -cies
  1. the state or quality of being malignant
  2. pathol a cancerous growth
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 malignance



c.1600, "malignant nature," from malignant + -cy. Of growths, tumors, from 1680s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

malignance in Medicine


  1. The state or quality of being malignant.
  2. A malignant tumor.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.