What Does Maleficent Mean? | The Word Counter

Do you know the definition of maleficent? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word maleficent, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word maleficent mean?

According to Collins English Dictionary and the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, maleficent is an adjective and the maleficent definition is one who is harmful, hurtful or evil. The noun form of maleficent is maleficence. Maleficent is four syllables –  ma-le-fi-cent, and the pronunciations məˈlɛfɪsənt or məˈlɛfəsənt are used.

Maleficent can also refer to a Walt Disney villain from the movie Sleeping Beauty. This evil fairy, the mistress of all evil, is played by Angelina Jolie in the live action version of the film. In the story,  at the royal christening of the infant princess Aurora, Maleficent curses the princess to prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel, by sunset on her sixteenth birthday and fall into a deep sleep until true love’s kiss from Prince Phillip. Maleficent has no religious morality and wishes to be monarch herself. This fictional character can also turn into a dragon. She is also voiced by Susanne Blakeslee and Lois Nettleton in different shows and video games. This wicked fairy godmother appears in the original French fairy tale and Disney’s house of mouse. 

Many different languages also contain words that mean maleficent. You may notice that many of these words look and sound very similar to each other. This is likely because they have the same root word or ancestral language, such as Latin or Greek. Often, this is how cognates are formed. Cognates are words that look, sound, and mean the same thing between languages. This list of translations for the word maleficent is provided by Word Sense.

  •  Turkish: kötücül‎
  •  Faroese: óndur‎, óreinur‎
  •  Czech: zlý‎ (masc.)
  •  Ido: mala‎
  •  Interlingua: mal‎, malefic‎
  •  Upper Sorbian: zły‎
  •  Slovak: zlý‎
  •  Tupinambá: poxy‎
  •  Hindi: दुष्ट‎ (duṣṭa), बुरा‎ (burā), पापी‎ (pāpī)
  •  Slovene: zèl‎ (masc.), hudôben‎ (masc.)
  •  Portuguese: mau‎ (masc.), má‎ (fem.), maléfico‎ (masc.), maléfica‎ (fem.), ruim‎ (masc.) (f) (1,2)
  •  Neapolitan: malo‎
  •  Latin: malus‎
  •  Hebrew: רע‎, מרושע‎
  •  Roman: zao‎
  •  Estonian: paha‎, kuri‎
  •  Romanian: rău‎, răutăcios‎, hain‎, câinos‎
  •  Kannada: ಕೆಟ್ಟ‎, (formally) ದುಷ್ಠ‎
  •  Finnish: paha‎
  •  German: böse‎, übel‎
  •  Indonesian: jahat‎
  •  Asturian: malu‎
  •  Macedonian: лош‎ (loš), зол‎ (zol)
  •  Kazakh: қастық‎
  •  Sinhalese: දුෂ්ට‎ ඉතා නරක‎
  •  Persian: شرور‎ (šarur), بدکار‎ (badkâr)
  •  Bulgarian: лош‎ (masc.), зъл‎
  •  Haitian Creole: move‎, mechan‎
  •  Latgalian: ļauns‎
  •  Polish: zły‎
  •  Ukrainian: злий‎
  •  Georgian: ბოროტი‎
  •  Arabic: شِرِّير‎
  •  Belarusian: злы‎
  •  Old English: unriht‎
  •  Coptic: ϩⲟⲟⲩ‎ (hoou)
  •  Latvian: ļauns‎
  •  Basque: gaizto‎
  •  Spanish: malo‎, malvado‎, malévolo‎, maléfico‎, perverso‎
  •  Swedish: ond‎, elak‎
  •  Greek: κακός‎ (masc.)
  •  Cyrillic: зао‎
  •  Ojibwe: maji-‎
  •  Hungarian: gonosz‎
  •  Lower Sorbian: zły‎
  •  Dutch: kwaadaardig‎, boosaardig‎, kwaad‎, slecht‎, euvel‎
  •  Volapük: badik‎
  •  Armenian: չար‎
  •  Icelandic: illur‎ (masc.), ill‎ (fem.) illt‎ (neut.), vondur‎, slæmur‎
  •  Danish: ond‎, slem‎, slet‎, dårlig‎, skadelig‎
  •  Vietnamese: ác‎
  •  Lithuanian: piktas‎, blogas‎
  •  Esperanto: malbona‎
  •  Telugu: దుష్ట‎, దెయ్యం‎
  •  Navajo: doo yáʼáshǫ́ǫ da‎
  •  Visayan: demonyo
  •  Scottish Gaelic: olc‎ (masc.), aingidheachd‎ (fem.), urchaid‎ (fem.), truaighe‎ (fem.)
  •  Thai: ชั่วร้าย‎ (chạ̀w r̂āy)
  •  Hiligaynon: malain‎
  •  Italian: malvagio‎ (masc.), malevolo‎, maligno‎, malefico‎, perverso‎
  •  Japanese: 悪い‎, 邪心‎
  •  Limburgish: kwaod‎, euvel‎
  •  Khmer: អាក្រក់‎ (aakrɑk), ដែលព្យាបាទ‎ (dael pyiebaat)
  •  Catalan: malvat‎, dolent‎, maliciós‎, malèfic‎, roí‎
  •  French: mauvais‎ (masc.), maléfique‎ (masc.) (f)
  •  Maore Comorian: ovu‎
  •  Norwegian: ond‎, slem‎
  •  Mandarin: 邪惡‎, 邪恶‎, 壞‎, 坏‎, 凶狠‎ (xiōnghěn)
  •  Malay: jahat‎
  •  Russian: злой‎
  •  Old Church Slavonic: зълъ‎ (zŭlŭ)

What are synonyms and antonyms of maleficent?

There are many different words that a person can use in place of the term maleficent. These are called synonyms. You may wonder why it would be useful to know different words that mean the same thing, when one will do the trick. First, knowing synonyms is very helpful to avoid repeating yourself. This can add variety to your written works and your everyday speech. Second, knowing synonyms is an easy way to expand your vocabulary. This can improve your eloquence and knowledge of the English language. This list of synonyms for the word maleficent is provided by Power Thesaurus.

  •  base
  •  baleful
  •  demoniac
  •  nasty
  •  wicked
  •  bad to the bone
  •  noxious
  •  evil
  •  malicious
  •  deleterious
  •  flagitious
  •  demonic
  •  cruel
  •  acrimonious
  •  appalling
  •  malefic
  •  malign
  •  bitchy
  •  malevolent
  •  spiteful
  •  bad
  •  damaging
  •  horrible
  •  mean
  •  atrocious
  •  pernicious
  •  foul
  •  fiendish
  •  vicious
  •  malignant
  •  mischievous
  •  dreadful
  •  devilish
  •  damnable
  •  harmful
  •  vindictive
  •  hurtful
  •  injurious
  •  iniquitous
  •  diabolic
  •  ominous
  •  villainous
  •  baneful
  •  catty
  •  venomous
  •  infernal
  •  abominable
  •  heinous
  •  sinister
  •  awful

There are also numerous different words that have the opposite meaning of the word maleficent. These opposite words are called antonyms, which are also a useful grammatical device to know in order to expand your vocabulary. This list of antonyms for the word maleficent is also provided by Power Thesaurus

  •  attentive
  •  benefic
  •  agreeable
  •  thoughtful
  •  curative
  •  undamaging
  •  amusing
  •  allied
  •  bleeding-heart
  •  attractive
  •  auspicious
  •  restorative
  •  adequate
  •  straight fire
  •  affirmative
  •  admirable
  •  harmless
  •  innocuous
  •  healthy
  •  conducive
  •  eleemosynary
  •  salubrious
  •  corrective
  •  benignant
  •  in league with
  •  plus
  •  adapted
  •  fatherly
  •  therapeutic
  •  approving
  •  charitable
  •  gracious
  •  actual
  •  medicinal
  •  beneficial
  •  enhancing
  •  philanthropic
  •  anodyne
  •  advanced
  •  courteous
  •  innocent
  •  nontoxic
  •  as pretty as a picture
  •  healing
  •  beautiful

What is the origin of the word maleficent?

According to Etymonline, the word maleficent has been used since C17. This word comes from the Latin maleficus and malum evil as well as the Latin maleficentia maleficence and maleficēns, from ficēns, faciēns, and the  present participle of faciō. These roots form the related word male.

How can the word maleficent be used in a sentence?

You can learn new words by using them in a sentence or making a quiz!

The authors of the Diræ regard Gladstone as a maleficent being.

The mayor was the most maleficent member of the whole community. 

The man we thought was a good friend had committed maleficent acts we didn’t know about.

The serial killer smiled with a maleficent grin.

Overall, the word maleficent means evil or unjust. This is also the name of a character in the Disney film Sleeping Beauty.


  1. Maleficent definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary 
  2. maleficent: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  3. Maleficent synonyms – 360 Words and Phrases for Maleficent | Power Thesaurus 
  4. Maleficent antonyms – 47 Opposites of Maleficent | Power Thesaurus 
  5. maleficent | Origin and meaning of maleficent | Online Etymology Dictionary