A Word A Day : Malicious

Thursday, 3rd April 2008 : Today's Word is ...


( Adjective )

Pronunciation : ma-lísh-ess


1. motivated by or resulting from a desire to cause harm or pain to another

2. having the nature of or resulting from malice

3. deliberately harmful

4. characterized by intense ill will or spite


1175–1225 - malicius - Latin - malitiōsus - badly, ill


awful, bad-natured, baleful, beastly, bitchy, bitter, catty, cussed, deleterious, despiteful, detrimental, envious, evil, evil-minded, green, green-eyed, gross, ill-disposed, injurious, jealous, low, malevolent, malign, malignant, mean, mischievous, nasty, noxious, ornery, pernicious, pesky, petty, poison-pen, poisonous, rancorous, resentful, spiteful, uncool, vengeful, venomous, vicious, virulent, wicked

Malevolent suggests deep and lasting dislike.

Malicious usually means petty and spiteful.


benevolent, friendly, good, kind, likeable, sympathetic, thoughtful

Contextual Examples:

• There was no reason to write on the walls except to be malicious.

• Find out the source of this malicious gossip.

Malicious injury to the property of another is a punishable offence.

• I quickly learned to be afraid of him and his malicious pranks.

Related Words:

malice : Noun

maliciousness : Noun

maliciously : Adverb

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