noun mal·ice \ˈma-ləs\

: a desire to cause harm to another person

Full Definition of MALICE

:  desire to cause pain, injury, or distress to another
:  intent to commit an unlawful act or cause harm without legal justification or excuse

Examples of MALICE

  1. All of this is about control, of course. While nicknames can just as easily be dispensed with affection as with malice, either way the practice is as stone alpha male as social interaction gets. —Garry Trudeau, Time, 12 Feb. 2001

Origin of MALICE

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin malitia, from malus bad
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of MALICE

malice, malevolence, ill will, spite, malignity, spleen, grudge mean the desire to see another experience pain, injury, or distress. malice implies a deep-seated often unexplainable desire to see another suffer <felt no malice toward their former enemies>. malevolence suggests a bitter persistent hatred that is likely to be expressed in malicious conduct <a look of dark malevolence>. ill will implies a feeling of antipathy of limited duration <ill will provoked by a careless remark>. spite implies petty feelings of envy and resentment that are often expressed in small harassments <petty insults inspired by spite>. malignity implies deep passion and relentlessness <a life consumed by motiveless malignity>. spleen suggests the wrathful release of latent spite or persistent malice <venting his spleen against politicians>. grudge implies a harbored feeling of resentment or ill will that seeks satisfaction <never one to harbor a grudge>.
MALICE Defined for Kids


noun mal·ice \ˈma-ləs\

Definition of MALICE for Kids

:  a desire to cause harm to another person


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