[ muh-lig-nuhnt ]
/ məˈlɪg nənt /
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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.
OTHER WORDS FOR malignant
1 spiteful, malevolent.
2 perilous, hurtful, pernicious.
OPPOSITES FOR malignant
THINGAMABOB OR THINGUMMY: CAN YOU DISTINGUISH BETWEEN THE US AND UK TERMS IN THIS QUIZ?
Do you know the difference between everyday US and UK terminology? Test yourself with this quiz on words that differ across the Atlantic.
Question 1 of 7
In the UK, COTTON CANDY is more commonly known as…
Origin of malignant
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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use malignant in a sentence
He had therefore little right to expect indulgence from the party which he had unfairly and malignantly assailed.The History of England from the Accession of James II.|Thomas Babington Macaulay
Others say, still more malignantly, There is a certain man who labors with him in composing the Koran.A Philosophical Dictionary, Volume 1 (of 10)|Franois-Marie Arouet (AKA Voltaire)
He thrust out his thin flushed face, his pointed beard wagging malignantly.The Long Night|Stanley Weyman
And malignantly, his eyes blazing with a jealous, evil light, he shot Stroud—twice.'Drag' Harlan|Charles Alden Seltzer
The whole mighty bulk of L'Etat seemed above and about him, malignantly intent on crushing him out of existence.A Maid of the Silver Sea|John Oxenham
British Dictionary definitions for malignant
/ (məˈlɪɡnənt) /
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
Scientific definitions for malignant
[ mə-lĭg′nənt ]
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.
Cultural definitions for malignant
A descriptive term for things or conditions that threaten life or well-being. Malignant is the opposite of benign.
notes for malignant
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.