ma·​lef·​i·​cent mə-ˈle-fə-sənt How to pronounce maleficent (audio)
: working or productive of harm or evil : baleful

Examples of maleficent in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Known as the Phantom of the Opera, the maleficent figure is a controlling, psychopathic specter who has fallen in love with his instrument and spreads death and chaos to remain the undisputed master of the Opera, and of Christine’s heart. Elsa Keslassy, Variety, 6 Sep. 2023 Under certain conditions, then, Ponzi principles are efficient not maleficent. The Economist, 31 Aug. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'maleficent.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


back-formation from maleficence

First Known Use

1678, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of maleficent was in 1678

Dictionary Entries Near maleficent

Cite this Entry

“Maleficent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

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