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

Research is also picking up on cancer stem cells, malignant cells that resemble stem cells. San Diego Union-Tribune, "As state funding runs out, California stem cell scientists get $30 million gift," 26 June 2019 Children with cancers that may form malignant cells in their testes, for example, shouldn't have that material grafted back into their body, so other methods are being developed to tackle this issue. National Geographic, "First primate born using frozen testicle technique," 21 Mar. 2019 The tumors are usually noncancerous (benign), but sometimes can become cancerous (malignant). Eric Todisco, PEOPLE.com, "Paraguay Man Bullied for His Massive Tumors Has Surgery to Remove 6 Lbs. of Tissue," 14 June 2019 Early multicellular organisms would also have needed to develop defenses against invading malignant cells from other organisms, or transmissible cancers. Jon Kelvey, Smithsonian, "The Evolution of Sex Could Have Provided a Defense Against Cancer Cells," 11 June 2019 Doctors have a better chance of not leaving behind parts of a malignant tumor. WSJ, "Is Robotic Prostate Surgery Better Than Traditional Surgery?," 24 June 2018 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

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

17 Jul 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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