Malice aforethought
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 to another; a disposition to injure another; a malignant design of evil. ``Nor set down aught in malice.'' --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Envy, hatred, and malice are three distinct passions of the mind. --Ld. Holt. [1913 Webster]

2. (Law) Any wicked or mischievous intention of the mind; a depraved inclination to mischief; an intention to vex, annoy, or injure another person, or to do a wrongful act without just cause or cause or excuse; a wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others; willfulness. [1913 Webster]

{Malice aforethought} or {Malice prepense}, malice previously and deliberately entertained. [1913 Webster]

Syn: Spite; ill will; malevolence; grudge; pique; bitterness; animosity; malignity; maliciousness; rancor; virulence.

Usage: See {Spite}. -- {Malevolence}, {Malignity}, {Malignancy}. Malice is a stronger word than malevolence, which may imply only a desire that evil may befall another, while malice desires, and perhaps intends, to bring it about. Malignity is intense and deepseated malice. It implies a natural delight in hating and wronging others. One who is malignant must be both malevolent and malicious; but a man may be malicious without being malignant. [1913 Webster]

Proud tyrants who maliciously destroy And ride o'er ruins with malignant joy. --Somerville. [1913 Webster]

in some connections, malignity seems rather more pertinently applied to a radical depravity of nature, and malignancy to indications of this depravity, in temper and conduct in particular instances. --Cogan. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

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