[ muh-lig-nuhnt ]
/ məˈlɪg nənt /
disposed to cause harm, suffering, or distress deliberately; feeling or showing ill will or hatred.
very dangerous or harmful in influence or effect.
- tending to produce death, as bubonic plague.
- (of a tumor) characterized by uncontrolled growth; cancerous, invasive, or metastatic.
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The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.
Origin of malignant
1535–45; <Late Latin malignant-
(stem of malignāns
), present participle of malignāre
to act maliciously. See malign
OTHER WORDS FROM malignant
ma·lig·nant·ly, adverbnon·ma·lig·nant, adjectivenon·ma·lig·nant·ly, adverbsem·i·ma·lig·nant, adjective
sem·i·ma·lig·nant·ly, adverbun·ma·lig·nant, adjectiveun·ma·lig·nant·ly, adverb
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021
Example sentences from the Web for malignant
having or showing desire to harm others
tending to cause great harm; injurious
pathol (of a tumour) uncontrollable or resistant to therapy; rapidly spreading
history (in the English Civil War) a Parliamentarian term for a royalist (def. 1)
Derived forms of malignantmalignantly, 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
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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 benign.
notes for malignant
The term malignant
is used in describing cancerous tumors
) because such growths are a threat to the health of the individual.
notes for malignant
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.