Word of the Day : January 30, 2013

mala fide

adverb or adjective mal-uh-FYE-dee


: with or in bad faith


The company's board is accused of acting mala fide and with criminal intentions.

"NTC analyzes each traveler's risk before departure to identify ... criminal activity, fraud, and other mala fide travelers, including U.S. citizens." - From a document in Congressional Documents and Publications, September 11, 2012

Did You Know?

You may be familiar with the more commonly used "bona fide" (boh-nuh-FYE-dee), which can mean "made in good faith" (as in "a bona fide agreement") or "genuine or real" ("a bona fide miracle"). You also may have encountered the noun "bona fides," used in reference to evidence of a person's good faith, genuineness, qualifications, or achievements. Not surprisingly, in Latin "bona fide" means "in good faith" and "mala fide" means "in bad faith." These days "mala fide," which dates from the mid-16th century, tends to turn up primarily in legal contexts.

Word Family Quiz

What relative of "mala fide" can mean "the quality of being faithful" or "accuracy in matching or reproducing something"? The answer is ...


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