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 In other words, malcontent and volatile populist energy is not a new feature of American politics. Cameron Hilditch, National Review, "The Party of Lincoln," 14 Aug. 2020 He's also been an occasional malcontent whom the Jags attempted to trade prior to the draft before declining his option for 2021. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "20 recent NFL first-round picks who could be on the hot seat in 2020," 26 June 2020 Does Milwaukee remember Yount as an enigma or even a malcontent, instead of the most beloved athlete in the city's history? Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "50 in 50: Robin Yount reaches 3,000 hits," 4 May 2020 To hear President Trump’s supporters tell it, there is a secret army of malcontents lurking deep within the bowels of government whose goal is to drive Trump from office. Dina Temple-raston, Washington Post, "The ‘deep state’: From scholarly critique to toxic conspiracy theory," 30 Apr. 2020 But for every group that is placated there are new malcontentsHOW TO DIVIDE India into administrative units is a question that has vexed all its governments. The Economist, "Bodos and don’ts A restive corner of India is becoming more peaceful," 30 Jan. 2020 Now, Erica Calihan and her merry band of mouthy malcontents are back threatening a revolt if Beshear doesn't reopen businesses in the state. Joseph Gerth, The Courier-Journal, "Gerth: Dumb protesters in Frankfort don't care if you die, you're messing with their money," 16 Apr. 2020 As a malcontent, Saul tends toward a policy of not so much getting mad about anything in particular as of getting even across the board. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, "The In-Your-Face Paintings of Peter Saul," 10 Feb. 2020 After developing a reputation as a malcontent in stops with Phoenix, Houston and Cleveland, Chriss has earned praise from Kerr for his coachability. Connor Letourneau,, "Marquese Chriss opens up about return to Warriors on two-way contract," 16 Jan. 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, "90s Britpop Star Hits the Campaign Trail to Convince Mystics and Fishermen to Undo Brexit (Guest Column)," 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, "Fallout From Britain’s Exit: Markets, Immigration and Trade," 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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Statistics for malcontent

Last Updated

29 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Malcontent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for malcontent


How to pronounce malcontent (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of malcontent

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

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