The Meaning of Malice: What It Is and How To Use It

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

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What does the word malice mean?

According to Merriam-Webster Unabridged English Dictionary and Dictionary, the word malice (pronounced ˈmælɪs) is a noun that refers to some desire to inflict injury or harm on another, either out of some hostile impulse or a deep-seated fury. This word can also be sued in a legal sense to refer to some evil intent on behalf of a person who has committed a crime against another. In the legal sense, this state of mind in which a person plans to commit a wrongful act is pure malice – there was no other reasoning for the crime, they simply wanted to hurt another person. This could include defamation or actual malice in the form of personal injury. Try using this word of the day or other new words in a sentence today!

There are many different languages that also contain words meaning alice. You may notice that many of these words look similar to malice, and are pronounced similarly as well. These are called cognates, which are words that preserve their meaning and general spelling across languages. These are often formed when two words or languages have the same root or language of origin such as Latin or Greek. THis list of translation or the word malice is provided by Word Sense

  • Armenian: քեն‎, նենգ‎
  • Finnish: pahantahtoisuus‎, ilkeys‎
  • Russian: злой у́мысел‎ (masc.), зло́ба‎ (fem.), злость‎ (fem.), зло‎ (neut.)
  • Roman: pakost‎ (fem.), zloba‎ (fem.), zlonamernost‎ (fem.), zlurad‎ (masc.), malicija‎ (fem.), zloća‎ (fem.)
  • Polish: złośliwość‎ (fem.)
  • Catalan: malícia‎ (fem.)
  • Turkish: kötü niyet‎, art niyet‎
  • Spanish: malicia‎ (fem.)
  • Czech: zlomyslnost‎ (fem.)
  • Portuguese: malícia‎ (fem.)
  • Maori: mauāhara‎, kaikino‎
  • German: Boshaftigkeit‎ (fem.), Böse‎ (neut.)
  • Romanian: maliție‎ (fem.), malițiozitate‎ (fem.)
  • French: malice‎ (fem.)
  • Ukrainian: злий умисел‎
  • Mandarin: 惡意‎, 恶意‎ (èyì)
  • Italian: malizia‎ (fem.)
  • Esperanto: malico‎
  • Greek: εμπάθεια‎ (fem.), κακεντρέχεια‎ (fem.), κακία‎ (fem.)
  • Japanese: 悪意‎ (あくい, akui), 毒気‎ (dokuke, dokke)
  • Cyrillic: пакост‎ (fem.), злоба‎ (fem.), злонамерност‎ (fem.), злурад‎ (masc.), малиција‎ (fem.), злоћа‎ (fem.)
  • Swedish: illvilja‎
  • Dutch: kwaadaardigheid‎
  • Icelandic: illgirni‎ (fem.), meinfýsni‎ (fem.)

What are synonyms and antonyms for the word malice?

There are many different words that one can use in place of the word malice. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same meaning as another word or phrase. Synonyms are a useful tool to know in the English language because they can help people to avoid repeating themselves while simultaneously growing their vocabulary. This list of synonyms for the word malice is provided by Thesaurus

  • hostility
  • vengefulness
  • spitefulness
  • distaste
  • animus
  • antipathy
  • rancor
  • hard feelings
  • antagonism
  • venom
  • spleen
  • scorn
  • evil
  • evilness
  • harshness
  • nastiness
  • umbrage
  • coldness
  • malice
  • disapproval
  • repugnance
  • aversion
  • contempt
  • horror
  • abhorrence
  • disgust
  • alienation
  • animosity
  • hate
  • spite
  • malevolence
  • repulsion
  • hatred
  • mordacity
  • detestation
  • acrimony
  • revulsion
  • malignity
  • allergy to
  • revenge
  • bile
  • dirt
  • loathing
  • bitterness
  • badness
  • despitefulness
  • grudge
  • viciousness
  • resentment
  • vindictiveness
  • despite
  • malignance
  • implacability
  • poison
  • ignominy
  • hatefulness
  • no use for
  • militancy
  • bad blood
  • odium
  • dislike
  • bane
  • acerbity
  • execration
  • displeasure
  • pique
  • enmity
  • down
  • envy
  • maliciousness
  • abomination
  • invidiousness
  • ill will
  • meanness
  • disfavor
  • prejudice

There are many different words that mean the opposite of the word malice, as well. These are called antonyms. Antonyms are also useful words and phrases to know to help one expand their English vocabulary. This list of antonyms for the word malice is also provided by Word Sense.

  • rapture
  • passion
  • amour
  • devotedness
  • friendliness
  • fondness
  • worship
  • enchantment
  • brownie points
  • friendship
  • helpfulness
  • amorousness
  • involvement
  • enjoyment
  • altruism
  • lust
  • piety
  • amity
  • soft spot
  • inclination
  • tolerance
  • love
  • idolatry
  • devotion
  • ardency
  • goodwill
  • yearning
  • delight
  • fervor
  • tenderness
  • partiality
  • zeal
  • generosity
  • attachment
  • sentiment
  • cherishing
  • case
  • weakness
  • ardor
  • fidelity
  • rapport
  • crush
  • infatuation
  • allegiance
  • charity
  • mad for
  • benevolence
  • respect
  • kindness
  • appreciation
  • kindliness
  • good will
  • sympathy
  • affection
  • adulation
  • like
  • taste
  • cordiality
  • hankering
  • flame
  • comity
  • good deed
  • favor
  • regard
  • emotion
  • relish

What is the origin of the word malice?

According to Etymonline, the word malice has been used since the year 1300 to refer to some active ill will. This word comes from the Old French malice meaning some ill will or spite, used since the 12th century. This comes from the Latin malitia, meaning ill will, from malus, meaning bad or unpleasant. This is also where we get the related words militia, malevolent, malevolence, and others. The word malice is also used in a legal sense to refer to some intention of performing harm on another since the 1540s. 

How can the word malice be used in a sentence?

The word malice can be used in many different ways in the English language. In this example, Sierra is babysitting two twin boys, Tim and Tom. Tim hits Tom over the head with a play truck.

Sierra: Tim, that isn’t nice! We don’t hit. 

Tim: He wanted me to.

Sierra: No he didn’t. He’s crying. You did that out of malice/

Tim: No, he wanted me to.

Sierra: That excuse wouldn’t hold up in court.

Here, Sierra uses the word malice to describe that Tim only hit Tom with the truck with the intent to hurt him. Tim maintains that Tom wanted to be hit with the truck, which is not the case. The word malice can be used to describe any ill will or hate toward another.

Overall, the word malice is a noun that refers to some malicious intent to harm someone. It is also used in a legal sense to refer to the premeditated forethought that one has before committing a crime. The crime is committed solely to ahrm another person and for no other reason. 

Sources:

  1. https://www.wordsense.eu/malice/
  2. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/malice
  3. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/love
  4. https://www.etymonline.com/word/malice#etymonline_v_6737
  5. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/malice#:~:text=1%20%3A%20desire%20to%20cause%20pain,and%20did%20it%20with%20malice
  6. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/malice