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

As if that wasn't humiliating enough for the Steelers, the Patriots signed their former malcontent and seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Antonio Brown following his release by the Oakland Raiders. Ben Morse, CNN, "NFL week one: Death, taxes ... and the New England Patriots unfurling a NFL championship banner," 9 Sep. 2019 But those jabs were misguided, spun by malcontents to stoke anger against an iniquitous regime the queen neither created nor controlled. Jeffrey Westbrook. Styled By Will Kahn, Town & Country, "Bourgeouis? Moi? This Season Is Fashion's Rich Girl Revenge," 22 Aug. 2019 The Cubs learned that the hard way 10 years ago, subtracting amiable infielder Mark DeRosa from the defending division champions after the 2008 season and adding perennial malcontent Milton Bradley. Paul Sullivan,, "Column: The Cubs’ chemistry experiment isn’t over. In fact, it’s really just beginning.," 12 Aug. 2019 Whiteside brings to Portland a reputation for being a malcontent who, at times, has been more focused on himself than his team. Joe Freeman,, "Hassan Whiteside seeks ‘fresh start’ after landing in a ‘perfect situation’ with Portland Trail Blazers," 11 July 2019 There is less interest these days in the existential trials of the uprooted; attention has shifted to those malcontents who, we are told, have become strangers in their own land. Ryu Spaeth, The New Republic, "Aleksandar Hemon’s Lost Eden," 6 June 2019 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

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

15 Sep 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

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with malcontent

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for malcontent

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).


concealment of treason or felony

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