Definition of malice
- an attack motivated by pure malice
- ruined her reputation and did it with malice
an attack motivated by pure malice
She claimed that her criticisms were without malice.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'malice.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Malicious and malevolent are close in meaning, since both refer to ill will that desires to see someone else suffer. But while malevolent suggests deep and lasting dislike, malicious usually means petty and spiteful. Malicious gossipers are often simply envious of a neighbor's good fortune. Vandals may take malicious pleasure in destroying and defacing property but usually don't truly hate the owners. Malice is an important legal concept, which has to be proved in order to convict someone of certain crimes such as first-degree murder.
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
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