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mal·​con·​tent ˌmal-kən-ˈtent How to pronounce malcontent (audio)
: a discontented person:
: one who bears a grudge from a sense of grievance or thwarted ambition
malcontents … bitter and almost choking with self-pityE. W. Griffiths
: one who is in active opposition to an established order or government : rebel
a country infested with political malcontents


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: dissatisfied with the existing state of affairs : discontented

Examples of malcontent in a Sentence

Noun He complained so much that he got a reputation for being a malcontent. Adjective she seems like a very malcontent person, always acting as if the entire world were out to get her
Recent Examples on the Web
In the early oughts, Blake’s band Daybreak and Pig Destroyer were both fledgling bands of malcontents fighting to establish our footprint in the scene. Jazz Monroe, Pitchfork, 11 Mar. 2024 As before, China’s hirelings respond that their handiwork will affect only a few dangerous malcontents. Doug Bandow, National Review, 10 Feb. 2024 But Vanya is so hot right now, and as the play’s titular middle-aged malcontent, Carell has a pretty bang-up cast to play with, including William Jackson Harper (The Good Place), Mia Katigbak (Infinite Life), Alison Pill, Anika Noni Rose, and Jayne Houdyshell. Sara Holdren, Vulture, 4 Jan. 2024 Production designer Craig Lathrop, a Robert Eggers regular, recreates the merciless grimness of winter in New England among its malcontent townies. Bonnie Johnson, Los Angeles Times, 30 Nov. 2023 Rollins was interrupted by fellow (kayfabe) malcontent Drew McIntyre. Alfred Konuwa, Forbes, 20 Nov. 2023 Following a spate of predictable head-butting, these three form an inevitable – perhaps too inevitable – trio of mutually supportive malcontents. Peter Rainer, The Christian Science Monitor, 26 Oct. 2023 He was traded in the spring of 1992 to the San Diego Padres after being labeled a young malcontent in the Milwaukee Brewers organization. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, 21 July 2023 Punk turned post-punk — against Margaret Thatcher’s establishment yet also skeptical about British socialist fashion that could not save a malcontent’s life. Armond White, National Review, 14 June 2023
The South West is a healing mecca for artists and malcontent media sorts, new age travelers, purveyors of crystals and surfers seeking budget California on the beaches of the Cornish Atlantic. Crispin Hunt, Billboard, 22 May 2019 But prominent leaders — not least, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany — warned that a jilted European Union would be in no mood to extend Britain a rewarding deal, lest other malcontent members take encouragement to go for the exits. Peter S. Goodman, New York Times, 23 June 2016

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

Word History


Adjective and Noun

Middle French, from mal- + content content

First Known Use


1581, in the meaning defined above


circa 1584, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of malcontent was in 1581

Dictionary Entries Near malcontent

Cite this Entry

“Malcontent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: not satisfied with the existing state of affairs : discontented
malcontent noun
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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