malignant

adjective
ma·​lig·​nant | \ mə-ˈlig-nənt How to pronounce malignant (audio) \

Definition of malignant

1 : tending to produce death or deterioration malignant malaria especially : tending to infiltrate, metastasize, and terminate fatally a malignant tumor
2a : evil in nature, influence, or effect : injurious a powerful and malignant influence
b : passionately and relentlessly malevolent : aggressively malicious the malignant tongues of gossipers
c obsolete : malcontent, disaffected

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Other Words from malignant

malignantly adverb

Examples of malignant in a Sentence

a highly malignant form of cancer a powerful and malignant influence

Recent Examples on the Web

Take a drug that wipes out malignant cells in lung cancer but is inconsistent in its ability to kill pancreatic cancer cells. Roger D. Klein, WSJ, "Price Drugs According to What They Do," 8 Jan. 2019 Married people are more likely than the unmarried to get timely diagnosis and treatment for malignant skin cancer. Nicholas Bakalar, New York Times, "Married People Less Likely to Die From Melanoma," 18 Apr. 2018 The nodules were removed during Friday’s surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City and found to be malignant. Brent Kendall, WSJ, "Justice Ginsburg Has Cancerous Growths Removed From Lung," 21 Dec. 2018 According to the thoracic surgeon, Valerie W. Rusch, MD, FACS, both nodules removed during surgery were found to be malignant on initial pathology evaluation. Sarah Kliff, Vox, "Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had surgery for malignant lung growths," 21 Dec. 2018 In fact, most masses this form of screening discovers are not malignant, the ACS explains. Korin Miller, SELF, "Why Is the 5-Year Survival Rate for Ovarian Cancer So Low?," 21 Nov. 2018 Alarmingly, the lab results came back positive for tremolite asbestos, a toxic substance which, if inhaled, can cause malignant mesothelioma decades later, according to the National Cancer Institute. Blake Bakkila, Good Housekeeping, "UPDATE: FDA Claims Three Claire's Products Have Tested Positive for Asbestos," 6 Mar. 2019 Glioblastoma multiforme, for example, is a highly malignant central nervous system tumor that grows from glial cells in the brain. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "Nanoparticles That Zap and Kill Cancer Cells Are a Small Solution to Huge Disease," 9 Jan. 2019 Alex Wong/Getty Images Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent surgery in New York City to remove two malignant nodules on her left lung. Sarah Kliff, Vox, "Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had surgery for malignant lung growths," 21 Dec. 2018

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

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First Known Use of malignant

1542, in the meaning defined at sense 2c

History and Etymology for malignant

Late Latin malignant-, malignans, present participle of malignari

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Statistics for malignant

Last Updated

8 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for malignant

The first known use of malignant was in 1542

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More Definitions for malignant

malignant

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of malignant

medical : very serious and dangerous : tending or likely to grow and spread in a rapid and uncontrolled way that can cause death
formal : very evil

malignant

adjective
ma·​lig·​nant | \ mə-ˈlig-nənt How to pronounce malignant (audio) \

Kids Definition of malignant

1 : malicious
2 : likely to cause death : deadly

Other Words from malignant

malignantly adverb

malignant

adjective
ma·​lig·​nant | \ mə-ˈlig-nənt How to pronounce malignant (audio) \

Medical Definition of malignant

1 : tending to produce death or deterioration malignant malaria especially : tending to infiltrate, metastasize, and terminate fatally malignant tumors — compare benign sense 1
2 : of unfavorable prognosis : not responding favorably to treatment psychotic reactions with a malignant trend

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