Definition of malediction in US English:



  • A magical word or phrase uttered with the intention of bringing about evil or destruction; a curse.

    • ‘Those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out.’
    • ‘And he does so on the sole basis of the appearance of these images and maledictions in the depictions of Simone's death elicited by torture from the accused.’
    • ‘Mr Godfrey took the hint and sunk back in his seat, muttering maledictions under his breath.’
    • ‘He muttered a quiet malediction, tugged off his gloves, and dug his dagger point into the soft lead that sealed the pane beside the latch in place.’
    • ‘I know that my father was severely provoked many times, but even when angry, no malediction ever crossed his lips.’
    • ‘While Mystic Secrets offers a lot of information about beneficial ceremonies, this article discusses rituals of cursing, called maledictions, and offers a few samples.’
    • ‘One interesting thing you'll notice is that the English-language maledictions used quite blithely in the French-language media are all obscenities, and the French words are all profanities.’
    • ‘I'm not sure whose translation he used, but this one by Dudley Fitts captures the malediction Wright so relished.’
    • ‘Is this transformation meant to be valediction or a malediction?’
    • ‘By ‘curse’ he meant ‘a real malediction,’ a ‘calling down of evil on someone.’’
    • ‘He called Brooklyn, parsed one reply, and concluded with a malediction.’
    • ‘As Milton argues in A Defence of the People of England, kingship originates from the Fall, and kings issue ‘not from blessings but from curses [and] maledictions cast upon fallen mankind’ .’
    • ‘Actual curses rolled from their tongues, free and easy, but to Moscow they added the venom of a true malediction.’
    • ‘A small group of rituals known as maledictions can visit misfortune and woe upon the target of one's ire.’
    • ‘The saint's reaction was instant and he heaped maledictions on the unfortunate salmon, forbidding it or any of its kind ever to enter the lake again.’
    • ‘You are mistaken, the Passions are not so minimally meritorious that you may maul them with your maledictions.’
    • ‘I screamed the malediction over and over again.’
    • ‘We got into yet another argument over something stupid that turned into exchanging insults and maledictions.’
    • ‘She would need at least one more before she was able to deal with my malediction.’
    • ‘This terrible malediction no longer lets me be the tall dark handsome man I know I am,’ he continued mournfully.’
    curse, oath, imprecation, execration
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Late Middle English: from Latin maledictio(n-), from maledicere ‘speak evil of’.