mala fide

adverb or adjective

ma·​la fi·​de ˌma-lə-ˈfī-dē How to pronounce mala fide (audio)
: with or in bad faith
claimed the government acted mala fide

Did you know?

You may be familiar with the more commonly used "bona fide" (boh-nuh-FYE-dee), which can mean "made in good faith" (as in "a bona fide agreement") or "genuine or real" ("a bona fide miracle"). You also may have encountered the noun "bona fides," used in reference to evidence of a person's good faith, genuineness, qualifications, or achievements. Not surprisingly, in Latin bona fide means "in good faith" and mala fide means "in bad faith." These days "mala fide," which dates from the mid-16th century, tends to turn up primarily in legal contexts.

Word History


Late Latin

First Known Use

1561, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mala fide was in 1561


Dictionary Entries Near mala fide

Cite this Entry

“Mala fide.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 2024.

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