mal·​e·​dic·​tion | \ ˌma-lə-ˈdik-shən How to pronounce malediction (audio) \

Definition of malediction

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

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Other Words from malediction

maledictory \ ˌma-​lə-​ˈdik-​t(ə-​)rē How to pronounce malediction (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for malediction



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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.

Examples of malediction in a Sentence

the two old women began casting aspersions and heaping maledictions upon one another
Recent Examples on the Web But perhaps the malediction presently heaped upon them will give them pause in the future. Winston Groom, WSJ, "Unsavory Allies, From Stalin to the Saudis," 4 Dec. 2018 Their language seemed perfectly suited for songs and maledictions. Linda Kinstler, Longreads, "Angrily Experiencing the Best Days of Our Lives," 27 June 2018

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.

First Known Use of malediction

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for 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

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The first known use of malediction was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Malediction.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

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