Malice prepense
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:

  • malice prepense — index cruelty Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • malice prepense — Same as malice aforethought. See with malice aforethought …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • malice prepense — noun Malice aforethought …   Wiktionary

  • malice prepense — noun see malice aforethought …   Useful english dictionary

  • Prepense — Pre*pense , a. [See {Pansy}, and cf. {Prepense}, v. t.] Devised, contrived, or planned beforehand; preconceived; premeditated; aforethought; usually placed after the word it qualifies; as, malice prepense. [1913 Webster] This has not arisen from… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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 — The intentional doing of a wrongful act without just cause or excuse, with an intent to inflict an injury or under circumstances that the law will imply an evil intent. A condition of mind which prompts a person to do a wrongful act willfully,… …   Black's law dictionary

  • malice — The intentional doing of a wrongful act without just cause or excuse, with an intent to inflict an injury or under circumstances that the law will imply an evil intent. A condition of mind which prompts a person to do a wrongful act willfully,… …   Black's law dictionary

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