ma·​lig·​nan·​cy | \ mə-ˈlig-nən(t)-sē How to pronounce malignancy (audio) \
plural malignancies

Definition of malignancy

1 : the quality or state of being malignant
2a : exhibition (as by a tumor) of malignant qualities : virulence
b : a malignant tumor

Examples of malignancy in a Sentence

the malignancy of the tumor The test revealed a malignancy in the patient's chest.
Recent Examples on the Web Then, there is the PTSD, radiation exposure, gravitational shifts and many injuries that increase his likelihood of accelerated bone loss and malignancy -- not to mention his chronic heart disease. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, 13 Dec. 2021 Cancers start small, often deep in tissues, where the malignancy evades early detection. Scientific American, 16 Nov. 2021 Rare, difficult to treat and exceedingly aggressive, the malignancy had already penetrated Eihab’s right eye socket. Lynda Schuster, Washington Post, 13 Oct. 2021 Not all papilloma growths are cancerous, but Dr. Fisher says about 10 to 15% of them may harbor a malignancy or precancerous cells. Ashley Abramson,, 5 Oct. 2021 Studies have shown that no more than .04% of mammograms reveal enlarged lymph nodes in women with no other sign of illness or malignancy. Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times, 12 May 2021 But no one has taken that egocentricity and turned it into a malignancy like Ramona. Victoria Bekiempis, Vulture, 12 Aug. 2021 The study says the device can diagnose brain tumors with a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 97%, regardless of the size and malignancy of the tumors. Chris Smith, BGR, 22 June 2021 But to the medical specialists who scour mammograms for signs of malignancy, the unexplained appearance of swollen lymph nodes has typically sparked concern and a recommendation that the patient be called back for further testing. Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times, 12 May 2021

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

See More

First Known Use of malignancy

1601, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About malignancy

Time Traveler for malignancy

Time Traveler

The first known use of malignancy was in 1601

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near malignancy




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for malignancy

Last Updated

29 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Malignancy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for malignancy



English Language Learners Definition of malignancy

: a malignant quality or state
: a tumor that is malignant


ma·​lig·​nan·​cy | \ mə-ˈlig-nən-sē How to pronounce malignancy (audio) \
plural malignancies

Medical Definition of malignancy

1 : the quality or state of being malignant
2a : exhibition (as by a tumor) of malignant qualities : virulence
b : a malignant tumor

More from Merriam-Webster on malignancy

Nglish: Translation of malignancy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of malignancy for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about malignancy


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!