• synonyms


[muh-lig-nuh n-see]
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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.
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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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for malignancy


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


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

malignancy in Medicine


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