Definition of malicious
: having or showing a desire to cause harm to someone : given to, marked by, or arising from malice malicious gossip
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 of malicious from the Web
Some are malicious and live in her closet, some are mysterious and are under her bed.
Wayne police say Nathan Richard Pearson was recently arrested and charged with larceny — $1,000 or more and malicious destruction of property — $1,000 or more.
No injuries were reported The sisters have been charged with first-degree malicious burning and were released to the custody of their parents, the Fire Marshal's Office said.
Isaac was held on $750 bail on Wednesday on charges of malicious destruction of personal property and destruction of a place of memorial.
The software company ceased selling the OS in 2008 and has slowly dropped support for XP, including malicious software definitions, urging users to migrate to Windows 7, 8, and 10.
Officers William Porter, Alicia White and Brian Rice are suing for malicious prosecution—the theory that Mosby went after them without probable cause for reasons other than justice.
A new and highly virulent outbreak of malicious data-scrambling software appears to be causing mass disruption across Europe, hitting Ukraine especially hard.
The message noted that the United States had detected malicious activity, originating from servers in Russia, targeting U.S. election systems and warned that meddling would be regarded as unacceptable interference.
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.
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.
MALICIOUS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of malicious for English Language Learners
: having or showing a desire to cause harm to another person : having or showing malice
MALICIOUS Defined for Kids
Definition of malicious for Students
: feeling or showing a desire to cause harm to another person malicious gossip
Legal Definition of malicious
: given to, marked by, or arising from malice malicious destruction of property
Seen and Heard
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