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malign

[muh-lahyn]
verb (used with object)
  1. to speak harmful untruths about; speak evil of; slander; defame: to malign an honorable man.
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adjective
  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

Synonyms

Antonyms

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

Related Words

sully, revile, tarnish, smear, taint, denigrate, insult, disparage, misrepresent, vilify, besmirch, defile, harm, accuse, pollute, soil, asperse, vituperate, rap, curse

Examples from the Web for maligning

Historical Examples

  • What right has he to be standing there maligning the people of Ireland?

    General John Regan

    George A. Birmingham

  • Can any one prevent a gossip from maligning a woman who loves?

  • Whether I shall proceed in law against these scoundrels for maligning me, I have not determined.

    Sevenoaks

    J. G. Holland

  • They strove again, as they had striven before, to win the King's favour by maligning him.

    Great Ralegh

    Hugh De Selincourt

  • The maligning of Lipmann Heller was not altogether without consequences to the Jews.


British Dictionary definitions for maligning

malign

adjective
  1. evil in influence, intention, or effect
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verb
  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 maligning

malign

v.

"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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malign

adj.

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