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malicious

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adjective ma·li·cious \mə-ˈli-shəs\

Simple Definition of malicious

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

Full Definition of malicious

  1. :  having or showing a desire to cause harm to someone :  given to, marked by, or arising from malice <malicious gossip>

ma·li·cious·ly adverb
ma·li·cious·ness noun

Examples of malicious

  1. … she is an inspired hater, and thrills to malicious descriptions of long-forgotten, nameless individuals whose bad luck it was to live near her, or to have met her socially. —Joyce Carol Oates, New York Times Book Review, 5 Nov. 2000

  2. A cunning and malicious crook who suckered him without half trying. —Philip Roth, American Pastoral, 1997

  3. Frank sensed her discomfort and took a certain malicious pleasure in it, enacting all the while his perfect innocence. —John Updike, The Afterlife, 1994

  4. a malicious distortion of the truth

  5. <the neighborhood chatterbox has again been spreading malicious gossip>



Origin of malicious

(see malice)


First Known Use: 13th century



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