One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The desire to harm someone; ill will.‘I bear no malice towards anybody’
spitefulness, spite, malevolence, maliciousness, animosity, hostility, ill will, ill feeling, hatred, hate, bitterness, venom, vindictiveness, vengefulness, revenge, malignity, malignance, evil intentions, animus, enmity, devilment, devilry, bad blood, backbiting, gall, rancour, spleen, grudgeView synonyms
- ‘The big one just stared and the little one maintained that there was no malice intended.’
- ‘The man before us smiled warmly before showing us a toothy grin of pure malice and evil.’
- ‘There are those who have tainted their blood with evil and malice.’
- ‘Meanwhile, the red eyes were still there, glittering and watching in malice and evil.’
- ‘Very often I was motivated by malice, but that is not the point.’
- ‘She said carefully, though the malice in her tone wasn't easy to hide.’
- ‘There was such malice in her voice that Cat involuntarily took a step back.’
- ‘The tiny smile held no malice, no spite, but not much warmth either.’
- ‘His words are spoken quickly, but there is no evidence of direct malice in his tone.’
- ‘He took a step closer to her, a mocking malice in his eyes.’
- ‘His voice had shock in it but it was still with malice in his voice.’
- ‘Slaughter's words don't imply malice or callousness or even apathy.’
- ‘This time, the devastation resulted not from the malice of evil men, but from the fury of water and wind.’
- ‘Yelled Lori, with pure malice in her eyes.’
- ‘His eyes did not hold the malice they held that day in the forest.’
- ‘In other words, the NPR broadcast was motivated by sheer malice, based on political disagreement.’
- ‘Callaghan did not act out of any malice or evil intent.’
- ‘Courtney's playful behavior dropped and pure malice settled over her pixie like features.’
- ‘He bore no malice, his aura was tinged slightly with regret, pain and longing.’
- ‘If you scratch the surface, you will see a planet riddled with malice and evil.’
- 1.1Law Wrongful intention, especially as increasing the guilt of certain offences.
- ‘Similarly the doctrine of transferred malice applies to the liability of accessories.’
- ‘The privilege could nevertheless be defeated if actual malice was proved by the plaintiff.’
- ‘Nevertheless, the prosecution can contend that the doctrine of transferred malice applies.’
- ‘Consequently it limited the damages in such cases unless the plaintiff proved actual malice.’
- ‘Even the doctrine of transferred malice can be used.’
Middle English: via Old French from Latin malitia, from malus ‘bad’.
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