ill will


: unfriendly feeling
Choose the Right Synonym for ill will

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

Examples of ill will in a Sentence

We bear no ill will toward each other.
Recent Examples on the Web In her response, Jeffries had no harsh retaliation and expressed no ill will towards such toxic fans. Zack Sharf, Variety, 20 Dec. 2023 Austin police said that a preliminary look at the incident revealed no ill will on the part of the driver but that the matter was still being probed. Dennis Romero, NBC News, 14 Feb. 2024 Krumholtz has no ill will toward The Bear star Ebon Moss-Bachrach, who was officially announced as the MCU’s Ben Grimm last week. Wesley Stenzel,, 20 Feb. 2024 This time, the ill will that Trump has always felt toward American allies would likely manifest itself in a clear policy change. Anne Applebaum, The Atlantic, 4 Dec. 2023 Professional golf appeared poised to end 2023 with the PGA Tour and LIV Golf in lockstep after two years of animosity, attrition, ill will and legal action. Edgar Thompson, Orlando Sentinel, 2 Jan. 2024 The studio has gone through several iterations of leadership, and nobody involved ever had any malice or ill will or anything. Brian Davids, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 Jan. 2024 Apparently, however, that lack of ill will has faded somewhat. Ej Dickson, Rolling Stone, 26 Dec. 2023 Duffy bears no ill will toward Florida State, which is among dozens of schools combing the portal for older, experienced transfer QBs. Kirk Kenney, San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 Dec. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ill will.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ill will was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near ill will

Cite this Entry

“Ill will.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

ill will

: unfriendly feeling

More from Merriam-Webster on ill will

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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