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

aggrieved, discontent, discontented, disgruntled, displeased, dissatisfied

Antonyms: Adjective

content, contented, gratified, pleased, satisfied

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Examples of malcontent in a Sentence


He complained so much that he got a reputation for being a malcontent.


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

The Stranger Things malcontents might observe that the show tends to do the same thing over and over again and that the formula is getting stale. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The American Paranoia of Stranger Things 3," 4 July 2019 Former Steelers malcontent Antonio Brown, frequently suspended Vontaze Burfict and (reformed?) bully Richie Incognito are each compelling enough to command behind-the-scenes shows of their own., "This should be juicy: Raiders, Antonio Brown chosen for HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks’," 12 June 2019 Labor leaders didn’t want wages to collapse; landowners and industrialists feared unemployed malcontents. Christopher Tayler, Harper's magazine, "New Books," 10 Mar. 2019 This idea that Twitter is really valuable, has a lot of news, but is also a cesspool and a home for Nazis and other malcontents, that seems like that’s a relatively recent sort of conventional wisdom about Twitter. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Former Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard explains why live venues are leaving money on the table," 11 Oct. 2018 And then, on February 19, Dumars swung a three-team megadeal with the Celtics and Hawks for perennial malcontent Rasheed Wallace, who had been dealt from the Blazers to the Hawks less than three weeks earlier. Ryan Ford, Detroit Free Press, "NBA superteams haven't won all the championships: 5 surprise winners," 9 July 2018 More blah-blah-blah noise could be made on Saturday, when another small group of malcontents find out once and for all that FC Cincinnati isn't going to freely pass out seven-figure checks all around the neighborhood. Jason Williams,, "PX column: Pay no attention to anti-stadium noise. FC Cincinnati is moving forward," 12 May 2018 Owens was known for being a malcontent during his NFL career, which is much of the stated reason why Hall of Fame voters made him wait for his induction into Canton. Jonathan Jones,, "Why the Falcons Shouldn't Be Concerned About Julio Jones Training With Terrell Owens," 22 June 2018 There are city hall heavies and citizen malcontents here in Southern California, too. Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic, "Fly On, My Sleek Electric Bird," 30 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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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Statistics for malcontent

Last Updated

7 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for malcontent

The first known use of malcontent was in 1581

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More Definitions for malcontent



English Language Learners Definition of malcontent

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

More from Merriam-Webster on malcontent

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with malcontent

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for malcontent

Comments on malcontent

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food or victuals

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