malignant

adjective
ma·​lig·​nant | \ mə-ˈlig-nənt \

Definition of malignant

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

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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

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 All innocuously clerical enough, until Toller’s disgust with a ministry-underwriting, EPA-flouting local industrialist (Michael Gaston) turns as malignant as whatever’s necessitating those whiskey-and-Pepto cocktails. Tom Russo, BostonGlobe.com, "‘First Reformed’ is more dark musings from Schrader," 25 May 2018 Interestingly, Shaikh, who performed the surgery, also helped to treat Meister when a malignant brain tumor — a grade III germinoma — was found at the center of his brain in 2012. Madeline Farber, Fox News, "Indiana man survives internal decapitation years after beating brain cancer: 'Our boy is a miracle'," 3 Aug. 2018 Doctors performed two surgeries: one to remove her nail bed as originally planned, and another to ensure all malignant cells were out. Marci Robin, Allure, "A Woman Lost Her Thumb to Skin Cancer Believed to Be Caused by a Nail-Biting Habit," 10 Sep. 2018 But beyond the idealistic marketing hype the reality is far more malignant. Diana Budds, Curbed, "Facial recognition is becoming one of the 21st century’s biggest public space issues," 19 Oct. 2018 Playing chess with Count Fosco (Riccardo Scamarcio), one of the more charming of the malignant characters in this tale, Marian mistakenly concludes she’s beaten him. Dorothy Rabinowitz, WSJ, "‘The Woman in White’ Review: A 19th-Century Tale for Our Political Time," 18 Oct. 2018 After the procedure, biopsies of my leftover tissue showed no signs of malignant cells. Lambeth Hochwald, Glamour, "I Got a Mastectomy…Twice," 27 Sep. 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 1a

History and Etymology for malignant

Late Latin malignant-, malignans, present participle of malignari

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Statistics for malignant

Last Updated

13 Feb 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 \

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 \

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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