malum in se


mal·​um in se
ˈma-ləm-in-ˈsē, ˈmä-lu̇m-in-ˈsā
plural mala in se
ˈma-lə-, ˈmä-
: an offense that is evil or wrong from its own nature irrespective of statute
often used with a preceding noun (as crime or act)
held that burglary was a crime malum in seState v. Stiffler, 788 P.2d 2205 (1990)
compare malum prohibitum

Word History


New Latin, offense in itself

Dictionary Entries Near malum in se

Cite this Entry

“Malum in se.” Legal Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2023.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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