malevolence

noun ma·lev·o·lence \ mə-ˈle-və-lən(t)s \
|Updated on: 12 Aug 2018

Definition of malevolence

1 : the quality or state of being malevolent
  • slander that arose from pure malevolence
2 : malevolent behavior
  • an era full of selfishness and malevolence

Examples of malevolence in a Sentence

  1. only mindless malevolence would explain this cruel vandalism

Recent Examples of malevolence from the Web

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

First Known Use of malevolence

15th century

in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Synonym Discussion of malevolence

malice, malevolence, ill will, spite, malignity, spleen, grudge mean the desire to see another experience pain, injury, or distress. malice implies a deep-seated often unexplainable desire to see another suffer.
    • felt no malice toward their former enemies
malevolence suggests a bitter persistent hatred that is likely to be expressed in malicious conduct.
    • a look of dark malevolence
ill will implies a feeling of antipathy of limited duration.
    • ill will provoked by a careless remark
spite implies petty feelings of envy and resentment that are often expressed in small harassments.
    • petty insults inspired by spite
malignity implies deep passion and relentlessness.
    • a life consumed by motiveless malignity
spleen suggests the wrathful release of latent spite or persistent malice.
    • venting his spleen against politicians
grudge implies a harbored feeling of resentment or ill will that seeks satisfaction.
    • never one to harbor a grudge


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