Malicious – Definition, Meaning, Synonyms & Antonyms

Malicious – Definition, Meaning, Synonyms & Antonyms

Malicious meaning refers to a strong desire to harm others or cause suffering, often with deliberate intent and ill will.

History of the Word Malicious

Historical Usage

history, the term malicious has been consistently used to describe individuals, actions, or behavior characterized by ill will, malevolence, or harmful intent. It has been featured in legal texts, literature, and moral discussions as a way to denote deliberate wrongdoing.

Modern Usage

In contemporary language, "malicious" remains a critical term for identifying actions or individuals with harmful intentions. It is widely used in legal contexts to describe crimes and acts involving intent to harm, such as malicious intent in criminal law. Moreover, "malicious" is commonly employed in everyday language to characterize harmful gossip, behavior, or actions driven by spite.

English (Malicious As Adjective)


From Latin "malitia" (malice), malicious conveys a deliberate desire to harm or cause suffering.


Pronounced: /məˈlɪʃ.əs/ (muh-lish-us)

Forms of Malicious

Form Example
Comparative Degree More malicious
Superlative Degree Most malicious
Adverb Maliciously
Noun Maliciousness

Derived Terms

  • Maliciously
  • Maliciousness
  • Malicious software (malware)
  • Malicious intent
  • Malicious act
  • Malicious code
  • Malicious prosecution
  • Malicious damage
  • Malicious gossip
  • Malicious compliance

Translations of Malicious

  • Spanish: Malicioso
  • French: Malveillant
  • German: Bösartig
  • Italian: Malizioso
  • Portuguese: Malicioso
  • Russian: Злобный (Zlobnyy)
  • Chinese (Simplified): 恶意的 (Èyì de)
  • Japanese: 悪意のある (Akui no aru)
  •  Malicious meaning in Hindi: दुर्भावनापूर्ण (Durbhavanapurna)
  • Urdu: بدنیت (Badniyat)


  • Malevolent
  • Evil
  • Wicked
  • Hostile
  • Spiteful
  • Vindictive


  • Benevolent
  • Kind-hearted
  • Altruistic
  • Compassionate
  • Generous
  • Friendly

Example Sentences

  • Her malicious gossip caused unnecessary strife.
  • The hacker launched a malicious cyberattack.
  • He spoke malicious words out of spite.

FAQs (People May Also Ask)

What's the key distinction between malicious and malevolent?

Both imply harmful intent, but malicious often denotes harmful actions, while malevolent emphasizes the evil nature or disposition.

Can malicious be used to describe objects or non-human entities?

Generally, it describes the intentions or actions of individuals, but not inanimate objects or non-human entities.

Is maliciousness a noun form of malicious?

Yes, maliciousness is a noun representing the quality of having harmful intent or malevolence.

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