Definition of malignant in English:


See synonyms for malignant

Translate malignant into Spanish


  • 1Malevolent.

    ‘in the hands of malignant fate’
    • ‘Too often the malignant evil in society shows up in how we treat our children.’
    • ‘The root cause is not so much the drugs trade, as the malignant rat-like nature of the human race.’
    • ‘What evil, malignant Commie menace could be behind this predicament?’
    • ‘But a series of malignant twists of fate sour his life.’
    • ‘The malignant effects of chronic pain in children are multifactorial and relatively unyielding without treatment.’
    • ‘By the very nature of what it is, Empires are malignant, not benign though they cloak this malignancy with shallow kindness.’
    • ‘Yes, the two parties are equivalently malignant this way.’
    • ‘In combination, they've been malignant so many times before.’
    • ‘In my beginnings as a prison activist, I saw the industry of locking people up, as a malignant form of interdisciplinary activity.’
    • ‘But nothing in law or common sense justifies these continued ignorant, racist or malignant attacks on genuine refugees.’
    • ‘There was evidence of deeper and more malignant dry-rot.’
    • ‘This is only the tip of one big malignant iceberg.’
    • ‘To me, the most striking thing about both articles is the sheer, malignant hatred that shines through in each.’
    • ‘The stable food, the potato rotted from the land as the first strains of malignant blight struck, and there was nothing left to eat.’
    • ‘Just as he begins to recover, an old affair resurfaces within the marriage of Paul's parents and becomes aggressively malignant.’
    • ‘We can comment on the malignant horde of media hounds claiming to speak for Michael on this and many other issues.’
    • ‘What lies behind the Tory claim is a malignant xenophobia.’
    • ‘Science in the service of multi - national corporations, becomes malignant rather than benign.’
    • ‘In the most malignant cases, it leads to the rhetoric of genocide.’
    • ‘A more malignant expression of the social crisis is recorded in the suicide rate.’
    spiteful, hostile, malevolent, malicious, malign, evil-intentioned, baleful, full of hate, vicious, nasty, poisonous, venomous, acrimonious, rancorous, splenetic, cruel
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  • 2(of a disease) very virulent or infectious.

    ‘But neither of these processes is suitable for patients with infection or malignant disease.’
    • ‘Leon and Davey-Smith now show how a childhood infection may influence the epidemiology of malignant disease several decades later.’
    • ‘Patients with severe neutropenia with fever or signs of infection and those with evidence of malignant disease should be hospitalized.’
    • ‘In the end they ruled out only such serious illnesses as active or malignant disease which the doctor thought would totally wreck the child's chance of a healthy life.’
    • ‘Cardiac cachexia may mimic the cachexia seen in patients with disseminated malignant disease.’
    • ‘Proper diagnosis and supervision of treatment for Britain's most common malignant disease should not be beyond the resources of our National Health Service.’
    • ‘Visual impairment, neurological disorder, and malignant disease were all independently associated with suicide in elderly people’
    • ‘Primary care clinicians need to be able to discriminate which patients within a relatively unselected population have a higher likelihood of malignant disease.’
    • ‘The term refers to any of a group of malignant diseases of the bone marrow and other bone forming organs.’
    • ‘In April of 1677 Barrow travelled to London where he contracted malignant fever.’
    • ‘The malignant course of the disease is over, and it is now progressing more moderately.’
    • ‘There is also concern over infective and malignant complications.’
    • ‘There is a malignant form of coronary disease among people of Asian origin.’
    • ‘Chemical pleurodesis is an effective treatment for malignant pleural effusion and pneumothorax.’
    • ‘During one, my nurse college mentioned she had seen two cases of malignant hyperthermia.’
    • ‘Biological viruses also ' steal ' virulence genes from other viruses and become more malignant.’
    • ‘Destruction of the proteins essentially cripples p53 and opens the door to malignant transformation.’
    • ‘Malignant hyperthermia is not the only inherited disorder associated with faulty calcium signalling.’
    • ‘In view of the malignant nature of the condition this delay could have been life threatening.’
    virulent, infectious, invasive, uncontrollable, dangerous, harmful, pernicious
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    1. 2.1(of a tumor) tending to invade normal tissue or to recur after removal; cancerous.
      Contrasted with benign
      ‘Asbestosis is frequently accompanied by malignant tumors, such as lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma.’
      • ‘The difference between malignant and benign tumours is that malignant tumours have the ability to invade surrounding areas.’
      • ‘We describe a case of a highly malignant primary liver tumor in an elderly woman.’
      • ‘Radioactive implants appear to be a very effective method of treating highly malignant brain tumors.’
      • ‘The dangers of sun worshipping, such as malignant melanoma and accelerated ageing, are well known.’
      • ‘I will address the experimental treatments for the most malignant brain tumors.’
      • ‘Malignant melanoma is the least common yet most dangerous form of skin cancer.’
      • ‘In addition, the ability to identify potentially malignant lesions varies with physician training.’
      • ‘The primary reason to investigate a renal mass is to exclude a malignant neoplasm.’
      • ‘He died of malignant mesothelioma of the right lung caused by exposure to asbestos.’
      • ‘In addition, 4 of the 50 tumors were found to be histologically malignant.’
      • ‘She died of overwhelming infection 9 months after the initial diagnosis of malignant lymphoma.’
      • ‘Lymph node infarction is followed by malignant lymphoma in some but not all patients.’
      • ‘Glioblastoma is a rapidly growing malignant brain tumour and usually has a fatal outcome.’
      • ‘During chemotherapy, he learned there also were two malignant lesions on his brain.’
      • ‘Patients who had previously received conjugated estrogens or who had cancer with low malignant potential were excluded from the study.’
      • ‘Nearly everyone has pigmented moles, but only one in a million becomes malignant.’
      • ‘He immediately diagnosed a small rectal lesion, which appeared clinically to be malignant.’
      • ‘To put it in plain English, chemotherapy damages normal cells as well as malignant ones.’
      • ‘Another implication of a linear growth regime is that the most malignant cells should be located at the tumor border.’
      cancerous, non-benign, metastatic
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/məˈliɡnənt/ /məˈlɪɡnənt/


Mid 16th century (also in the sense ‘likely to rebel against God or authority’): from late Latin malignant- ‘contriving maliciously’, from the verb malignare. The term was used in its early sense to describe Royalist sympathizers during the English Civil War.