malice aforethought


: the intention or desire to commit a criminal act and especially murder without justification or excuse and usually with some degree of deliberation or premeditation or wanton disregard for life
Murder is the unlawful killing, with malice aforethought, of another human. Put another way, murder is the (1) intentional and (2) unjustified killing of another human being.Joshua K. Roberts
[Assistant Solicitor Trasi] Campbell's argument seeks to meet South Carolina's legal definition of murder, which reads that the crime must be carried out with "malice aforethought" and cannot be done unintentionally.Evan McKenna

Examples of malice aforethought in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And, of course, installing a highly unsupported XP on a device that's connected to the modern Internet is malice aforethought. Kevin Purdy, Ars Technica, 26 May 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'malice aforethought.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of malice aforethought was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near malice aforethought

Cite this Entry

“Malice aforethought.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jul. 2024.

Legal Definition

malice aforethought

see malice

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