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malevolent

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adjective ma·lev·o·lent \mə-ˈle-və-lənt\

Simple Definition of malevolent

  • : having or showing a desire to cause harm to another person

Full Definition of malevolent

  1. 1 :  having, showing, or arising from intense often vicious ill will, spite, or hatred

  2. 2 :  productive of harm or evil

ma·lev·o·lent·ly adverb

Examples of malevolent

  1. There was no acknowledgment of the effects of cycle upon cycle of malevolent defeat, of the injury of seeing one generation rise above the cusp of poverty only to be indignantly crushed, of the impact of repeating tsunamis of violence … —Douglas A. Blackmon, Slavery By Another Name, 2008

  2. The sky looks heavy enough to sink and crush us when we see another twister bullying across the fields—a squat, malevolent-looking wedge. —Priit J. Vesilind, National Geographic, April 2004

  3. No bigger than most house cats, it is possessed of such formidable armor and malevolent mien that when the makers of the latest Godzilla epic went looking for a prototype, they selected this lizard … —Peter Benchley, National Geographic, April 1999

  4. The predominant spirit is very un-American; a kind of malevolent, drifting determinism pervades human beings who cannot, or do not want to, cope. —John Fowles, Atlantic, August 1986

  5. <the novel grossly oversimplified the conflict as a struggle between relentlessly malevolent villains on one side and faultless saints on the other>



Origin of malevolent

Latin malevolent-, malevolens, from male badly + volent-, volens, present participle of velle to wish — more at mal-, will


First Known Use: 1509

Rhymes with malevolent



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