Definition of malicious
- malicious gossip
a malicious distortion of the truth
the neighborhood chatterbox has again been spreading malicious gossip
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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.
: having or showing a desire to cause harm to another person : having or showing malice
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