malice

malice, ill will, malevolence, spite, despite, malignity, malignancy, spleen, grudge denote a feeling or a state of mind which leads one to desire that another or others should suffer pain or injury.
Malice usually implies a deep-seated and, often, an unjustified or unexplainable desire; it frequently carries an implication of an innate pleasure in doing evil, in inflicting injury, in seeing others suffer, or in wanton destruction
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with malice toward none; with charity for all . . . let us . . . bind up the nation's wounds— Lincoln

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there are people in the world with that degree of . . . malice in them that they can't bear to allow a good man his merits— Shaw

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man, with his usual monkey-like malice, took pleasure in pulling down what he had built upHenry Adams

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argues that Dreyfus' court-martial and imprisonment . . . were mostly a tragedy of honest errors, not a conspiracy of racial maliceTime

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Often, however, it may imply mischievousness or impishness rather than a hardened, vindictive nature
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she was clever, witty, brilliant, and sparkling beyond most of her kind; but possessed of many devils of malice and mischievousness— Kipling

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we get far too little good conversation and artistic malice in life or art— Coxe

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In law malice applies to the state of mind of one who willfully commits wrong, whether in full deliberation
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malice aforethought

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or out of hatred and a desire to inflict injury on another
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malice in fact

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or out of the depravity of his nature
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implied malice

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Ill will and malevolence both imply an unfriendly attitude or state of mind that is rarely without some basis, real or fancied, and that need not, as malice so often does, lead to overt action.
Ill will applies to an attitude or state that is definite but measured and rarely involves any marked upheaval of mind
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proposal to defend Formosa for Chiang and invite the ill will of all the rest of Asia— Progressive

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could not believe it possible that any injury or any misfortune could provoke such ill will against a person not connected, or, at least, not supposed to be connected with it— Austen

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Malevolence applies primarily to a bitter and rancorous ill will that affects the whole outlook of one possessed by it and that is both more persistent and more likely to seek outlet in malicious conduct than is ill will
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their society is organized by a permanent, universal animosity and malevolence; sullen suspicion and resentment are their chief motives— Muller

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the frigid malevolence with which Wilson denied this strong man's plea, made in what Wilson, being sensitive and wise, knew was excruciating abasement— White

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Spite suggests petty ill will and mean envy and resentment that often manifests itself in trivial harassments
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a man full of the secret spite of dullness, who interrupted from time to time, and always to check or disorder thought— Yeats

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it is, indeed, a little shabby, a little insignificant: not really hate at all, but spiteDay Lewis

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Despite (see also under DESPISE) in this sense is a rather uncommon or literary term that may imply more pride and disdain and less pettiness than spite
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not in despite but softly, as men smile about the dead— Chesterton

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if you will imagine a glint of moonlight running up the blade of a rapier, you may know the chill flame of spite and despite that bickered in her eyes then as she spoke— Quiller-Couch

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Malignity and malignancy imply deep passion and relentless driving force
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he is cruel with the cruelty of petrified feeling, to his poor heroine; he pursues her without pity or pause, as with malignityArnold

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blinded by malignancy against the class of manual worker— Sprigge

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Spleen implies deep-seated rancor combined with bad temper; it usually suggests wrathful release of latent spite or persistent malice and the wish to harm
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his countrymen vented their spleen at his failure ... by sending the unfortunate naval commander into exileToynbee

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his just fame was long obscured by partisan spleenParrington

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Grudge applies to cherished ill will against an individual which seeks satisfaction; it usually suggests deep resentment for some real or fancied slight or affront and, often, a determination to get even
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I will feed fat the ancient grudge I bear him— Shak.

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this same inveterate grudgeHawthorne

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buried at the root of the relations between the sisters was Sophia's grudge against Constance for refusing to leave the Square— Bennett

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he held no grudge against any of the people who had misused him— Gather

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Analogous words: maliciousness, spitefulness (see corresponding adjectives at MALICIOUS): venom, bane, *poison: animosity, animus, rancor, antipathy, *enmity
Antonyms: charity
Contrasted words: *mercy, grace, clemency, lenity: benignity, benignancy, kindness, kindliness (see corresponding adjectives at KIND)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • malice — [ malis ] n. f. • déb. XIIe; lat. malitia « méchanceté » 1 ♦ Vx ou littér. Aptitude et inclination à faire le mal, à nuire par des voies détournées. ⇒ malignité, méchanceté. « La meilleure [femme] est toujours en malice féconde » (Molière). Mod.… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • malice — mal·ice / ma ləs/ n 1 a: the intention or desire to cause harm (as death, bodily injury, or property damage) to another through an unlawful or wrongful act without justification or excuse b: wanton disregard for the rights of others or for the… …   Law dictionary

  • Malice — may refer to: Malice (legal term), a legal term describing the intent to harm Jerry Tuite (1967–2003), American professional wrestler also known by the ring name Malice Entertainment Malice (punk band), a UK punk rock group from Crawley,… …   Wikipedia

  • malice — Malice. s. f. Meschanceté, inclination à nuire, à mal faire. Grande malice. il a un fond de malice. cela procede d une malice noire. sa malice est descouverte. il est plein de malice. il a fait cela par malice. s il ne fait pas bien, c est belle… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Malice — Разработчик Ratloop Издатель Quantum Axcess Дата выпуска Октябрь 15, 1997 Жанр Шутер от первого лица …   Википедия

  • malice — mal ice (m[a^]l [i^]s), n. [F. malice, fr. L. malitia, from malus bad, ill, evil, prob. orig., dirty, black; cf. Gr. me las black, Skr. mala dirt. Cf. {Mauger}.] 1. Enmity of heart; malevolence; ill will; a spirit delighting in harm or misfortune …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • malice — Malice, Astutia, Dolus malus, Malitia. Malice finement pourpensée, Malitia accurata. Malice naturelle, Natiuum malum. De ma propre malice, Meapte malitia. C est plus par la malice des hommes que des femmes, Magis haec malitia pertinet ad viros,… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • Malice — ist der Name: einer US amerikanischen Metalband, siehe Malice (Band) eines US amerikanischen Spielfilms, siehe Malice – Eine Intrige Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidung mehrerer mit demselben Wort bezeichneter Begriffe …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • malice — [mal′is] n. [OFr < L malitia < malus, bad: see MAL ] 1. active ill will; desire to harm another or to do mischief; spite 2. Law evil intent; state of mind shown by intention to do, or intentional doing of, something unlawful malice… …   English World dictionary

  • malice — (n.) c.1300, desire to hurt another, from O.Fr. malice ill will, spite, sinfulness, wickedness (12c.), from L. malitia badness, ill will, spite, from malus bad (see MAL (Cf. mal )). In legal use, wrongful intent generally (1540s) …   Etymology dictionary

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