top of page
The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce malevolence (audio)

Dictionary definition of malevolence

A feeling or expression of ill will, malice, or hostility towards others.
"The villain's malevolence was evident in his twisted smile."

Detailed meaning of malevolence

It is often associated with a desire to cause harm, pain, or suffering, and can be directed towards individuals, groups, or even abstract concepts such as institutions or ideas. Malevolence can manifest in many forms, from subtle acts of aggression to more overt expressions of hatred or violence. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including jealousy, resentment, or a desire for power or control. When someone is exhibiting malevolence, it can be difficult to reason with them or change their behavior, as their actions are often fueled by deep-seated emotions and beliefs. While malevolence can be a destructive force, it can also be overcome with compassion, understanding, and a commitment to positive change. Overall, malevolence is a term used to describe a negative and harmful attitude towards others, and can have serious consequences for individuals and society as a whole.

Example sentences containing malevolence

1. The villain's eyes glimmered with malevolence as he plotted his evil scheme.
2. The protagonist sensed the malevolence lurking beneath the charming facade of the antagonist.
3. The malevolence in his voice sent shivers down her spine.
4. The malevolence of his actions was evident in the destruction he left behind.
5. The group was unaware of the malevolence that awaited them in the haunted house.
6. Her smile concealed an undercurrent of malevolence, revealing her true intentions.

History and etymology of malevolence

The noun 'malevolence' finds its etymological roots in the Latin language. It is derived from the Latin word 'malevolentia,' which consists of 'male' meaning 'ill' or 'bad' and 'volentia' meaning 'will' or 'desire.' Therefore, 'malevolence' can be understood as a feeling or expression of ill will, malice, or hostility towards others, reflecting a desire or will to harm or cause harm. The etymology of 'malevolence' underscores the negative and harmful nature of this emotion or attitude, as it is rooted in the concept of a malevolent will or intention directed towards others.

Quiz: Find the meaning of malevolence

Try Again!


Further usage examples of malevolence

1. The dark magic exuded an aura of malevolence that permeated the air.
2. The villagers lived in fear of the malevolence of the witch who resided in the forest.
3. The malevolence in his heart fueled his desire for revenge.
4. The horror movie was filled with scenes of violence and malevolence.
5. The politician's words were dripping with subtle malevolence, aimed at undermining his opponents.
6. The malevolence of the dictator's regime was felt by the oppressed citizens.
7. The detective uncovered a web of malevolence behind the seemingly innocent crime.
8. The malevolence of the storm left a path of destruction in its wake.
9. The malevolence of the serial killer shocked the entire community.
10. The protagonist confronted the embodiment of pure malevolence in a final showdown.
11. The malevolence of the dark entity possessed the unsuspecting victim, leading to disastrous consequences.
12. The malevolence of the character's actions added depth and complexity to the story.
13. The writer's vivid descriptions captured the essence of the malevolence that pervaded the narrative.
14. The ancient curse awakened, unleashing a wave of malevolence upon the cursed artifact's discoverer.



spite, benevolence, kindness, goodwill


Prefix mal-, Suffix -ence, SAT 4 (Scholastic Assessment Test), High School 8, Anger and Hatred

bottom of page