malicious

adjective ma·li·cious \ mə-ˈli-shəs \

Definition of malicious

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

maliciously

adverb

maliciousness

noun

Examples of malicious in a Sentence

  1. … 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 OatesNew York Times Book Review5 Nov. 2000
  2. A cunning and malicious crook who suckered him without half trying. —Philip RothAmerican Pastoral1997
  3. Frank sensed her discomfort and took a certain malicious pleasure in it, enacting all the while his perfect innocence. —John UpdikeThe Afterlife1994
  4. a malicious distortion of the truth

  5. the neighborhood chatterbox has again been spreading malicious gossip

Recent Examples of malicious from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of malicious

see malice

MALICIOUS Defined for English Language Learners

malicious

adjective

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

malicious

adjective ma·li·cious \ mə-ˈli-shəs \

Definition of malicious for Students

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

maliciously

adverb

Law Dictionary

malicious

adjective ma·li·cious \ mə-ˈli-shəs \

legal Definition of malicious

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

maliciously

adverb

maliciousness

noun


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