malignant ma*lig"nant, a. [L. malignans, -antis, p. pr. of malignare, malignari, to do or make maliciously. See {Malign}, and cf. {Benignant}.] 1. Disposed to do harm, inflict suffering, or cause distress; actuated by extreme malevolence or enmity; virulently inimical; bent on evil; malicious. [1913 Webster]

A malignant and a turbaned Turk. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

2. Characterized or caused by evil intentions; pernicious. ``Malignant care.'' --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]

Some malignant power upon my life. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Something deleterious and malignant as his touch. --Hawthorne. [1913 Webster]

3. (Med.) Tending to produce death; threatening a fatal issue; virulent; as, malignant diphtheria. [1913 Webster]

{Malignant pustule} (Med.), a very contagious disease produced by infection of subcutaneous tissues with the bacterium {Bacillus anthracis}. It is transmitted to man from animals and is characterized by the formation, at the point of reception of the infection, of a vesicle or pustule which first enlarges and then breaks down into an unhealthy ulcer. It is marked by profound exhaustion and often fatal. The disease in animals is called {charbon}; in man it is called {cutaneous anthrax}, and formerly was sometimes called simply {anthrax}. [1913 Webster +PJC]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Malignant — (from the Latin roots mal = bad and genus = born ) is a medical term used to describe a severe and progressively worsening disease. The term is most familiar as a description of cancer. A malignant tumor may be contrasted with a non cancerous… …   Wikipedia

  • malignant — (adj.) 1560s, in reference to diseases, from M.Fr. malignant and directly from L.L. malignantem (nom. malignans) acting from malice, prp. of malignare injure maliciously (see MALIGN (Cf. malign) (v.)). Earlier in the church malignant followers of …   Etymology dictionary

  • Malignant — Ma*lig nant, n. 1. A man of extreme enmity or evil intentions. Hooker. [1913 Webster] 2. (Eng. Hist.) One of the adherents of Charles I. or Charles II.; so called by the opposite party. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • malignant — I adjective atrocious, baleful, baneful, barbarous, bitter, blackhearted, bloodthirsty, brutal, brutish, cancerous, caustic, cold blooded, coldhearted, consuming, corrosive, cruel, damaging, dangerous, deadly, death bringing, death dealing,… …   Law dictionary

  • malignant — malign, malevolent, *malicious, spiteful Analogous words: virulent, venomous (see POISONOUS): *envious, jealous: baneful, noxious, *pernicious: diabolical, devilish, *fiendish Antonyms: benignant Contrasted words: benign, * …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • malignant — [adj] diseased cancerous, deadly, destructive, fatal, internecine, lethal, mortal, pestilential, poisonous; concept 314 Ant. benign, harmless, uncancerous …   New thesaurus

  • malignant — ► ADJECTIVE 1) harmful; malevolent. 2) (of a tumour) tending to invade normal tissue or to recur after removal; cancerous. Contrasted with BENIGN(Cf. ↑benignly). ORIGIN originally in the sense «likely to rebel against God or authority»: from… …   English terms dictionary

  • malignant — [mə lig′nənt] adj. [LL malignans (gen. malignantis), prp. of malignare: see MALIGN] 1. having an evil influence; malign 2. wishing evil; very malevolent or malicious 3. very harmful 4. very dangerous or virulent; causing or likely to cause death; …   English World dictionary

  • malignant — [[t]məlɪ̱gnənt[/t]] 1) ADJ: usu ADJ n A malignant tumour or disease is out of control and likely to cause death. [MEDICAL] She developed a malignant breast tumour. Ant: benign 2) ADJ GRADED If you say that someone is malignant, you think they are …   English dictionary

  • malignant — 1. Resistant to treatment; occurring in severe form, and frequently fatal; tending to become worse and leading to an ingravescent course. 2. In reference to a neoplasm, having the property of locally invasive and destructive growth and metastasis …   Medical dictionary

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