Definition of malediction in US English:



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

    ‘he muttered maledictions to himself as he trod the stone passages’
    • ‘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’ .’
    • ‘Those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She would need at least one more before she was able to deal with my malediction.’
    • ‘He called Brooklyn, parsed one reply, and concluded with a malediction.’
    • ‘I know that my father was severely provoked many times, but even when angry, no malediction ever crossed his lips.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A small group of rituals known as maledictions can visit misfortune and woe upon the target of one's ire.’
    • ‘We got into yet another argument over something stupid that turned into exchanging insults and maledictions.’
    • ‘While Mystic Secrets offers a lot of information about beneficial ceremonies, this article discusses rituals of cursing, called maledictions, and offers a few samples.’
    • ‘I screamed the malediction over and over again.’
    • ‘This terrible malediction no longer lets me be the tall dark handsome man I know I am,’ he continued mournfully.’
    • ‘You are mistaken, the Passions are not so minimally meritorious that you may maul them with your maledictions.’
    • ‘By ‘curse’ he meant ‘a real malediction,’ a ‘calling down of evil on someone.’’
    • ‘Mr Godfrey took the hint and sunk back in his seat, muttering maledictions under his breath.’
    • ‘Actual curses rolled from their tongues, free and easy, but to Moscow they added the venom of a true malediction.’
    • ‘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.’
    curse, oath, imprecation, execration
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Late Middle English: from Latin maledictio(n-), from maledicere ‘speak evil of’.