SYNONYMS | EXAMPLES | WORD ORIGIN adjective disposed to cause harm, suffering, or distress deliberately; feeling or showing ill will or hatred. very dangerous or harmful in influence or effect. . Pathology tending to produce death, as bubonic plague. (of a tumor) characterized by uncontrolled growth; cancerous, invasive, or metastatic. Origin of malignant 1535–45;
Late Latin malignant-
), present participle of
to act maliciously. See
-ant Related forms ma·lig·nant·ly, adverb non·ma·lig·nant, adjective non·ma·lig·nant·ly, adverb sem·i·ma·lig·nant, adjective sem·i·ma·lig·nant·ly, adverb un·ma·lig·nant, adjective un·ma·lig·nant·ly, adverb
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for malignantly Historical Examples of malignantly British Dictionary definitions for malignantly adjective having or showing desire to harm others tending to cause great harm; injurious pathol (of a tumour) uncontrollable or resistant to therapy; rapidly spreading Derived Forms malignantly, adverb Word Origin for malignant
C16: from Late Latin
malīgnāre to behave spitefully, from Latin malīgnus malign
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Word Origin and History for malignantly adj.
1560s, in reference to diseases, from Middle French
malignant and directly from Late Latin malignantem (nominative malignans) "acting from malice," present participle of malignare "injure maliciously" (see malign (v.)). Earlier in the church malignant "followers of the antichrist," from Latin ecclesiam malignantum in early Church writing, applied by Protestant writers to the Church in Rome (1540s). As an adjective, Middle English used simple malign (early 14c.). Related: Malignantly.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
adj. Threatening to life, as a disease; virulent. Tending to metastasize; cancerous. Used of a tumor.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Tending to have a destructive clinical course, as a malignant illness. Relating to cancer cells that are invasive and tend to metastasize. Malignant tumor cells are histologically more primitive than normal tissue. Compare benign.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
A descriptive term for things or conditions that threaten life or well-being. Malignant is the opposite of
is used in describing cancerous
) because such growths are a threat to the health of the individual.
The term is often used in a general way to denote something that is both destructive and fast growing: “The malignant growth of the suburbs is destroying the landscape.”
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.