noun ma·lev·o·lence \mə-ˈle-və-lən(t)s\

Definition of MALEVOLENCE

:  the quality or state of being malevolent
:  malevolent behavior


  1. <only mindless malevolence would explain this cruel vandalism>

First Known Use of MALEVOLENCE

15th century

Synonym Discussion of MALEVOLENCE

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>.


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