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malice Line breaks: mal¦ice
Pronunciation: /ˈmalɪs/

Definition of malice in English:


[mass noun]
1The desire to harm someone; ill will: I bear no malice towards anybody
More example sentences
  • This time, the devastation resulted not from the malice of evil men, but from the fury of water and wind.
  • There are those who have tainted their blood with evil and malice.
  • Meanwhile, the red eyes were still there, glittering and watching in malice and evil.
1.1 Law Wrongful intention, especially as increasing the guilt of certain offences.
Example sentences
  • Consequently it limited the damages in such cases unless the plaintiff proved actual malice.
  • The privilege could nevertheless be defeated if actual malice was proved by the plaintiff.
  • Nevertheless, the prosecution can contend that the doctrine of transferred malice applies.


Middle English: via Old French from Latin malitia, from malus 'bad'.

  • Malice goes back to Latin malus ‘bad’, the source also of malign (Middle English), malaise (mid 18th century), and the first part of malevolent (early 16th century), the second half being from Latin velle ‘to wish’. Since the 15th century malice has been a legal term, found especially in malice aforethought, the intention to kill or harm which distinguishes murder from manslaughter.

Words that rhyme with malice

Alice, chalice, challis, palace, Tallis
Definition of malice in:
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