mal·​con·​tent | \ˌmal-kən-ˈtent \

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

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 Elsewhere, Loskutoff names the grievances of his malcontents. Special To The Oregonian,, "Story collection about rural West focuses on alienation and rebellion (review)," 21 May 2018 Deadpool and his foul-mouthed crew of misfits and malcontents have taken down the Avengers. Fox News, "'Deadpool 2' finally dethrones 'Avengers: Infinity War' at the box office," 20 May 2018 Rondo and Cousins have been viewed as malcontents at various times in their careers. Ron Higgins,, "The end should just be the beginning for the New Orleans Pelicans," 9 May 2018 Paddy wagons will be filled with Hawaiian shirt-wearing malcontents as the Jazz Fest breaks all previous attendance records. Doug Maccash,, "Should ABBA headline Jazz Fest 2019? Take a chance on them!," 1 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


see malcontent entry 2


Middle French, from mal- + content content

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Time Traveler for malcontent

The first known use of malcontent was in 1581

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English Language Learners Definition of malcontent

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

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Comments on malcontent

What made you want to look up malcontent? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


by force of circumstances

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