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See more synonyms for malign on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. to speak harmful untruths about; speak evil of; slander; defame: to malign an honorable man.
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  1. evil in effect; pernicious; baleful; injurious: The gloomy house had a malign influence upon her usually good mood.
  2. having or showing an evil disposition; malevolent; malicious.
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Origin of malign

1275–1325; Middle English maligne < Middle French < Latin malignus. See mal-, benign
Related formsma·lign·er, nounma·lign·ly, adverbun·ma·ligned, adjective


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1. praise.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for maligner

Historical Examples

  • The author of the Suite de Merlin seems to have been her first maligner.

    A History of the French Novel, Vol. 1

    George Saintsbury

  • Instead, it is too often a treacherous spy, a maligner and falsifier.

    Mal Moule

    Ella Wheeler Wilcox

  • He forgives your maligner, and slanders you with all his heart.

  • But I denounce him as a calumniator of my country; a maligner of this nation.

  • She had saved her maligner's life, but courage deserted her with the act.


    George Barr McCutcheon

British Dictionary definitions for maligner


  1. evil in influence, intention, or effect
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  1. (tr) to slander or defame
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Derived Formsmaligner, nounmalignly, adverb

Word Origin

C14: via Old French from Latin malīgnus spiteful, from malus evil
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 maligner


early 15c., agent noun from malign (v.).

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"to slander," mid-15c., from earlier more literal sense of "to plot, to contrive" (early 15c.), from Old French malignier "to plot, deceive, pervert," from Late Latin malignare "to do maliciously," from malignus (see malign (adj.)). Related: Maligned; maligning.

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early 14c., from Old French maligne "having an evil nature," from Latin malignus "wicked, bad-natured," from male "badly" (see mal-) + -gnus "born," from gignere "to bear, beget," from PIE root *gn- "to bear" (see genus).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper