malicious

adjective
ma·​li·​cious | \ mə-ˈli-shəs How to pronounce malicious (audio) \

Definition of malicious

: having or showing a desire to cause harm to someone : given to, marked by, or arising from malice malicious gossip

Other Words from malicious

maliciously adverb
maliciousness noun

Malicious, Malevolent, and Malice

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.

Examples of malicious in a Sentence

… she is an inspired hater, and thrills to malicious descriptions of long-forgotten, nameless individuals whose bad luck it was to live near her, or to have met her socially. — Joyce Carol Oates, New York Times Book Review, 5 Nov. 2000 A cunning and malicious crook who suckered him without half trying. — Philip Roth, American Pastoral, 1997 Frank sensed her discomfort and took a certain malicious pleasure in it, enacting all the while his perfect innocence. — John Updike, The Afterlife, 1994 a malicious distortion of the truth the neighborhood chatterbox has again been spreading malicious gossip
Recent Examples on the Web Computer security is essential because malicious cyber threats are on the rise and even large corporations have fallen prey to ransomware and other forms of security breaches that can bring down an entire business. Mark Sparrow, Forbes, 20 May 2022 Betty and her family, the Floods, have been on the run from a malicious king who has been hunting them since before Betty was even born. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, 18 May 2022 In more recent days, however, researchers captured thousands of malicious requests that demonstrate a significant portion of the exploits are used for nefarious purposes. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, 18 May 2022 Kenneally was arrested on the existing warrant and also charged with malicious destruction of property over $250, officials said. Matt Yan, BostonGlobe.com, 16 May 2022 There were malicious comments towards you after the attack? Jeff Benjamin, Billboard, 11 May 2022 In the most destructive example of such an event, Russian military intelligence deployed malicious, self-replicating code nicknamed NotPetya against Ukrainian government computer networks in 2017. Kevin Collier, NBC News, 10 May 2022 These techniques enable malicious users to inflate content popularity while evading detection. Filippo Menczer, The Conversation, 9 May 2022 An OpenSea spokesperson said in a statement to Fortune that the company has taken actions against the scammer or scammers and hasn’t seen any malicious posts since 4:30 a.m. ET. Fortune, 6 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of malicious

13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for malicious

see malice

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Time Traveler for malicious

Time Traveler

The first known use of malicious was in the 13th century

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Dictionary Entries Near malicious

maliceful

malicious

malicious abandonment

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Statistics for malicious

Last Updated

22 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Malicious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/malicious. Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for malicious

malicious

adjective
ma·​li·​cious | \ mə-ˈli-shəs How to pronounce malicious (audio) \

Kids Definition of malicious

: feeling or showing a desire to cause harm to another person malicious gossip

Other Words from malicious

maliciously adverb

malicious

adjective
ma·​li·​cious | \ mə-ˈli-shəs How to pronounce malicious (audio) \

Legal Definition of malicious

: given to, marked by, or arising from malice malicious destruction of property

Other Words from malicious

maliciously adverb
maliciousness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on malicious

Nglish: Translation of malicious for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of malicious for Arabic Speakers

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