Return to malice (definition)

Mal"ice (?), n. [F. malice, fr. L. malitia, from malus bad, ill, evil, prob. orig., dirty, black; cf. Gr. black, Skr. mala dirt. Cf. [Mauger].]


Enmity of heart; malevolence; ill will; a spirit delighting in harm or misfortune to another; a disposition to injure another; a malignant design of evil.

"Nor set down aught in malice."


Envy, hatred, and malice are three distinct passions of the mind. Ld. Holt.

2. [Law]

Any wicked or mischievous intention of the mind; a depraved inclination to mischief; an intention to vex, annoy, or injure another person, or to do a wrongful act without just cause or cause or excuse; a wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others; willfulness.

[Malice aforethought] ∨ [prepense], malice previously and deliberately entertained.

Syn. -- Spite; ill will; malevolence; grudge; pique; bitterness; animosity; malignity; maliciousness; rancor; virulence. See [Spite]. -- [Malevolence], [Malignity], [Malignancy]. Malice is a stronger word than malevolence, which may imply only a desire that evil may befall another, while malice desires, and perhaps intends, to bring it about. Malignity is intense and deepseated malice. It implies a natural delight in hating and wronging others. One who is malignant must be both malevolent and malicious; but a man may be malicious without being malignant.

Proud tyrants who maliciously destroy And ride o'er ruins with malignant joy. Somerville.

in some connections, malignity seems rather more pertinently applied to a radical depravity of nature, and malignancy to indications of this depravity, in temper and conduct in particular instances. Cogan.


© [Webster 1913].

Mal"ice, v. t.

To regard with extreme ill will.



© [Webster 1913].