malediction

noun mal·e·dic·tion \ ˌma-lə-ˈdik-shən \
|Updated on: 4 Jul 2018

Definition of malediction

: curse, execration
  • I taunted him, ridiculed him, and loaded him with maledictions
  • —Sir Walter Scott

maledictory

play \-ˈdik-t(ə-)rē\ adjective

malediction was our Word of the Day on 04/21/2012. Hear the podcast!

Examples of malediction in a Sentence

  1. the two old women began casting aspersions and heaping maledictions upon one another

Recent Examples of malediction from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'malediction.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

Malediction, which at one time could also refer to slander or to the condition of being reviled or slandered, derives (via Middle English and Late Latin) from the Latin verb maledicere, meaning "to speak evil of" or "to curse." "Maledicere," in turn, was formed by combining the Latin words male, meaning "badly," and "dicere," "to speak" or "to say." You may recognize both of those component parts, as each has made a significant contribution to the English language. "Male" is the ancestor of such words as "malady," "malevolent," and "malign"; "dicere" gives us "contradict," "dictate," "diction," "edict" and "prediction," just to name a few.

Origin and Etymology of malediction

Middle English malediccioun, from Late Latin malediction-, maledictio, from maledicere to curse, from Latin, to speak evil of, from male badly + dicere to speak, say — more at mal-, diction



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to beat or defeat soundly

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Test Your Emoji Exceptionalism

  • test-your-emoji-exceptionalism-written-with-a-lot-of-emoji
  • What is this emoji intended to represent: 🤳
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!