mal·​con·​tent | \ ˌmal-kən-ˈtent How to pronounce malcontent (audio) \

Definition of malcontent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a discontented person:
a : one who bears a grudge from a sense of grievance or thwarted ambition malcontents … bitter and almost choking with self-pity— E. W. Griffiths
b : one who is in active opposition to an established order or government : rebel a country infested with political malcontents



Definition of malcontent (Entry 2 of 2)

: dissatisfied with the existing state of affairs : discontented

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Synonyms & Antonyms for malcontent

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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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: Noun But that also doesn’t mean that a whistleblower should be axiomatically tainted as a malcontent simply due to acting as a whistleblower. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 23 June 2021 The most acute concern is his late father, Bert Goldberg, who was a wall of rage and malcontent. James Wood, The New Yorker, 7 June 2021 The case has gripped Belgium and posed wider questions about how the country deals with malcontent in its armed forces. NBC News, 24 May 2021 But Brown was a malcontent who rarely started during two years with the Raiders. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, 17 Mar. 2021 Varda’s main interest was the risks dared by a malcontent (played by Sandrine Bonnaire) who rejected social conventions and hit the road as an existential loner. Armond White, National Review, 15 Jan. 2021 The Phillies released Thomas, but local fans took his side in the dispute, and Mr. Allen was branded a malcontent. Matt Schudel, Washington Post, 9 Dec. 2020 The three in Marson’s command are mouthy Asch (Chris Brochu), all-American Heisman (RJ Fetherstonhaugh) and malcontent Joyner (Sam Keeley). Michael Ordoña, Los Angeles Times, 10 Nov. 2020 In other words, malcontent and volatile populist energy is not a new feature of American politics. Cameron Hilditch, National Review, 14 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective 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 example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'malcontent.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of malcontent


1581, in the meaning defined above


circa 1584, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for malcontent

Adjective and Noun

Middle French, from mal- + content content

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Time Traveler for malcontent

Time Traveler

The first known use of malcontent was in 1581

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Cite this Entry

“Malcontent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for malcontent



English Language Learners Definition of malcontent

: a person who is always or often unhappy or angry about something


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