malign

adjective
ma·​lign | \ mə-ˈlīn How to pronounce malign (audio) \

Definition of malign

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : evil in nature, influence, or effect : injurious the malign effects of illicit drugs
b : malignant, virulent a malign lesion
2 : having or showing intense often vicious ill will : malevolent gave him a malign look

malign

verb
maligned; maligning; maligns

Definition of malign (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to utter injuriously misleading or false reports about : speak evil of Her supporters say that she has been unfairly maligned in the press.

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Other Words from malign

Adjective

malignly adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for malign

Adjective

sinister, baleful, malign mean seriously threatening evil or disaster. sinister suggests a general or vague feeling of fear or apprehension on the part of the observer. a sinister aura haunts the place baleful imputes perniciousness or destructiveness to something whether working openly or covertly. exerting a corrupt and baleful influence malign applies to what is inherently evil or harmful. the malign effects of racism

Verb

malign, traduce, asperse, vilify, calumniate, defame, slander mean to injure by speaking ill of. malign suggests specific and often subtle misrepresentation but may not always imply deliberate lying. the most maligned monarch in British history traduce stresses the resulting ignominy and distress to the victim. so traduced the governor that he was driven from office asperse implies continued attack on a reputation often by indirect or insinuated detraction. both candidates aspersed the other's motives vilify implies attempting to destroy a reputation by open and direct abuse. no criminal was more vilified in the press calumniate imputes malice to the speaker and falsity to the assertions. falsely calumniated as a traitor defame stresses the actual loss of or injury to one's good name. sued them for defaming her reputation slander stresses the suffering of the victim. town gossips slandered their good name

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Verb

When a word's got "mal-" in it, it's no good. That prefix traces to the Latin word malus (which means "bad"), and it puts the negative vibes in "malign" and a host of other English words. You can see it in "malpractice" (bad medical practice) and "malady" (a bad condition, such as a disease or illness, of the body or mind). A "malefactor" is someone guilty of bad deeds, and "malice" is a desire to cause injury, pain, or distress to another person. Other "mal-" formed words include "malaise," "malcontent," "maladroit," "malodorous," and "malnourished."

Examples of malign in a Sentence

Adjective both parties to the divorce showed a malign desire to make each other's future life utterly miserable Verb Her supporters say she is being unfairly maligned in the press. a candidate who believes that it is possible to win an election without maligning anyone
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Founded by the genial Darren Julien in 2001, the auction house had ridden the wave of the growing memorabilia industry — a wave that had already attracted the interest of malign figures elsewhere. Casey Michel, Rolling Stone, 8 Oct. 2021 For those Republicans who still hope that the GOP might shake Trump’s malign influence, Gonzalez’s decision was a considerable blow. Grace Segers, The New Republic, 17 Sep. 2021 The main way to counter the malign power of vested interest is to meet organized money with organized people. Bill Mckibben, The New Yorker, 1 Sep. 2021 That creates an opening for at least one more malign possibility: a SIM-swap attack. Los Angeles Times, 20 Aug. 2021 Yet the problem of malign surveillance of journalists and dissidents abroad seems inseparable from the much wider assaults on citizen privacy that are intrinsic to much of our daily online life. Steve Coll, The New Yorker, 25 July 2021 Despite recognizing Nord Stream 2’s role as a malign Russian influence project, the administration announced a deal this week crafted to resolve Washington’s long-running dispute with Berlin over the pipeline, ensuring that it will be finished. The Editors, National Review, 24 July 2021 Such a group would be a significant draw in other circumstances, but the beach’s malign power extends to turning excellent actors into wooden performers. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, 22 July 2021 Roadrunner’s final act, the final act of Bourdain’s life, is critical of Argento, painting her as a malign influence. Jeremy Repanich, Robb Report, 16 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Just as the tobacco and vape tax hikes proposed in Congress are regressive and disproportionately harm low income households, the White House’s IRS empowerment proposal will also malign those of relatively modest means. Patrick Gleason, Forbes, 22 Sep. 2021 For many in contemporary Tunisia, to call an opponent an Islamist is to question their integrity and malign their motives. Time, 30 July 2021 The group’s political arm has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on ads that tout Wright and malign Ellzey. Dallas News, 26 July 2021 This news report, thus, also appears to be a similar fishing expedition, based on conjectures and exaggerations to malign the Indian democracy and its institutions. Washington Post, 18 July 2021 President Donald Trump had been highlighting the destructive aspects of such protests in order to malign the Black Lives Matter movement. Paige Williams, The New Yorker, 28 June 2021 Trump loved to mock and malign people with demeaning nicknames so that others would laugh at that person. Dean Obeidallah, CNN, 27 June 2021 In response to being pilloried online, last month a BJP spokesman shared a document on the platform that suggested a coordinated campaign by the opposition Congress Party to malign the government. Sadanand Dhume, WSJ, 10 June 2021 Being careful not to malign the Los Angeles Police Department, which patrols Venice, the sheriff said city leaders have hamstrung the LAPD from taking a more aggressive posture when dealing with homeless people. Los Angeles Times, 9 June 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'malign.' 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 malign

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for malign

Adjective

Middle English maligne, from Anglo-French, from Latin malignus, from male badly + gignere to beget — more at mal-, kin

Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French maligner to act maliciously, from Late Latin malignari, from Latin malignus — see malign entry 1

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Time Traveler for malign

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

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Dictionary Entries Near malign

maliferous

malign

malignance

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Statistics for malign

Last Updated

15 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Malign.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/malign. Accessed 28 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for malign

malign

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of malign

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: causing or intended to cause harm

malign

verb

English Language Learners Definition of malign (Entry 2 of 2)

: to say bad things about (someone or something) publicly : to criticize (someone or something) harshly or unfairly

malign

adjective
ma·​lign | \ mə-ˈlīn How to pronounce malign (audio) \

Kids Definition of malign

 (Entry 1 of 2)

malign

verb
maligned; maligning

Kids Definition of malign (Entry 2 of 2)

: to say evil things about : slander

More from Merriam-Webster on malign

Nglish: Translation of malign for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of malign for Arabic Speakers

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