1

malign

play
adjective ma·lign \ mə-ˈlīn \

Definition of malign

1 a :evil in nature, influence, or effect :injurious
  • the malign effects of illicit drugs
b :malignant, virulent
  • a malign lesion
2 :having or showing intense often vicious ill will :malevolent
  • gave him a malign look

malignly

adverb

Examples of malign in a Sentence

  1. both parties to the divorce showed a malign desire to make each other's future life utterly miserable

Recent Examples of malign from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of malign

Middle English maligne, from Anglo-French, from Latin malignus, from male badly + gignere to beget — more at mal-, kin

Synonym Discussion of malign

sinister, baleful, malign mean seriously threatening evil or disaster. sinister suggests a general or vague feeling of fear or apprehension on the part of the observer.
    • a sinister aura haunts the place
baleful imputes perniciousness or destructiveness to something whether working openly or covertly.
    • exerting a corrupt and baleful influence
malign applies to what is inherently evil or harmful.
    • the malign effects of racism

2

malign

verb

Definition of malign

transitive verb
:to utter injuriously misleading or false reports about :speak evil of
  • Her supporters say that she has been unfairly maligned in the press.

Examples of malign in a Sentence

  1. Her supporters say she is being unfairly maligned in the press.

  2. a candidate who believes that it is possible to win an election without maligning anyone

Recent Examples of malign from the Web

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

Did You Know?

When a word's got "mal-" in it, it's no good. That prefix traces to the Latin word malus (which means "bad"), and it puts the negative vibes in "malign" and a host of other English words. You can see it in "malpractice" (bad medical practice) and "malady" (a bad condition, such as a disease or illness, of the body or mind). A "malefactor" is someone guilty of bad deeds, and "malice" is a desire to cause injury, pain, or distress to another person. Other "mal-" formed words include "malaise," "malcontent," "maladroit," "malodorous," and "malnourished."

Origin and Etymology of malign

Middle English, from Anglo-French maligner to act maliciously, from Late Latin malignari, from Latin malignus — see 1malign

Synonym Discussion of malign

malign, traduce, asperse, vilify, calumniate, defame, slander mean to injure by speaking ill of. malign suggests specific and often subtle misrepresentation but may not always imply deliberate lying.
    • the most maligned monarch in British history
traduce stresses the resulting ignominy and distress to the victim.
    • so traduced the governor that he was driven from office
asperse implies continued attack on a reputation often by indirect or insinuated detraction.
    • both candidates aspersed the other's motives
vilify implies attempting to destroy a reputation by open and direct abuse.
    • no criminal was more vilified in the press
calumniate imputes malice to the speaker and falsity to the assertions.
    • falsely calumniated as a traitor
defame stresses the actual loss of or injury to one's good name.
    • sued them for defaming her reputation
slander stresses the suffering of the victim.
    • town gossips slandered their good name

MALIGN Defined for English Language Learners

malign

play
adjective

Definition of malign for English Language Learners

  • : causing or intended to cause harm


malign

verb

Definition of malign for English Language Learners

  • : to say bad things about (someone or something) publicly : to criticize (someone or something) harshly or unfairly


MALIGN Defined for Kids

1

malign

play
adjective ma·lign \ mə-ˈlīn \

Definition of malign for Students


2

malign

verb

Definition of malign for Students

maligned; maligning
:to say evil things about :slander


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