Synonyms & Antonyms of spleen

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Frequently Asked Questions About spleen

How does the noun spleen differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of spleen are grudge, ill will, malevolence, malice, malignity, and spite. While all these words mean "the desire to see another experience pain, injury, or distress," spleen suggests the wrathful release of latent spite or persistent malice.

venting his spleen against politicians

When is it sensible to use grudge instead of spleen?

Although the words grudge and spleen have much in common, grudge implies a harbored feeling of resentment or ill will that seeks satisfaction.

never one to harbor a grudge

When is ill will a more appropriate choice than spleen?

The words ill will and spleen can be used in similar contexts, but ill will implies a feeling of antipathy of limited duration.

ill will provoked by a careless remark

When can malevolence be used instead of spleen?

While the synonyms malevolence and spleen are close in meaning, malevolence suggests a bitter persistent hatred that is likely to be expressed in malicious conduct.

a look of dark malevolence

When could malice be used to replace spleen?

The synonyms malice and spleen are sometimes interchangeable, but malice implies a deep-seated often unexplainable desire to see another suffer.

felt no malice toward their former enemies

When would malignity be a good substitute for spleen?

The meanings of malignity and spleen largely overlap; however, malignity implies deep passion and relentlessness.

a life consumed by motiveless malignity

In what contexts can spite take the place of spleen?

The words spite and spleen are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, spite implies petty feelings of envy and resentment that are often expressed in small harassments.

petty insults inspired by spite

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Time Traveler for spleen

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The first known use of spleen was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Spleen.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on spleen

Nglish: Translation of spleen for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spleen for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about spleen


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