maleficence (n.)
1590s, from Middle French maleficence or directly from Latin maleficentia "evildoing, mischievousness, injury," from maleficus "wicked" (see malefic). Now largely displaced by malfeasance.
maleficent (adj.)
1670s, from Latin maleficent-, altered stem of maleficus (see malefic).
maleness (n.)
1660s, from male (adj.) + -ness.
malevolence (n.)
mid-15c., from Middle French malevolence and directly from Latin malevolentia "ill-will, dislike, hatred," from malevolentem (nominative malevolens) "malevolent" (see malevolent).
malevolent (adj.)
c.1500, from Middle French malivolent and directly from Latin malevolentem (nominative malevolens) "ill-disposed, spiteful, envious," from male "badly" (see mal-) + volentem (nominative volens), present participle of velle "to wish" (see will (v.)). Related: Malevolently.
malfeasance (n.)
1690s, from French malfaisance "wrongdoing," from malfaisant, from mal- "badly" (see mal-) + faisant, present participle of faire "to do," from Latin facere "to do" (see factitious). Malfeasor "wrong-doer" is attested from early 14c. Related: Malfeasant.
malformation (n.)
also mal-formation, 1731, from mal- + formation.
malformed (adj.)
1801, from mal- + formed, past participle of form (v.).
malfunction (n.)
1827, from mal- "bad, badly, wrong" + function. As a verb, by 1888. Related: Malfunctioned; malfunctioning.
Mali
modern African nation, known by that name from 1959, formerly French Sudan. The name is that of a former African kingdom (13c.-14c.), perhaps from Malinke, name of an indigenous people of the region.
malic (adj.)
1797, from French malique (18c.), from Latin malum "apple" (the acid, discovered 1785 by Scheele, was obtained from unripe apples and other fruits), from Greek melon (Doric malon) "apple," probably from a pre-Greek Mediterranean language. The Latin and Greek words also meant "fruit" generally, especially if exotic.
malice (n.)
c.1300, "desire to hurt another," from Old French malice "ill will, spite, sinfulness, wickedness" (12c.), from Latin malitia "badness, ill will, spite," from malus "bad" (see mal-). In legal use, "wrongful intent generally" (1540s).
malicious (adj.)
early 13c., from Old French malicios "showing ill will, spiteful, wicked" (Modern French malicieux), from Latin malitiosus "wicked, malicious," from malitia "badness, ill will, spite," from malus "bad" (see mal-). In legal use (early 14c., Anglo-French), it means "characterized by malice prepense."
maliciously (adv.)
late 14c., from malicious + -ly (2).
maliciousness (n.)
mid-15c., from malicious + -ness.
malign (adj.)
early 14c., from Old French maligne "having an evil nature," from Latin malignus "wicked, bad-natured," from male "badly" (see mal-) + -gnus "born," from gignere "to bear, beget," from PIE root *gn- "to bear" (see genus).
malign (v.)
"to slander," mid-15c., from earlier more literal sense of "to plot, to contrive" (early 15c.), from Old French malignier "to plot, deceive, pervert," from Late Latin malignare "to do maliciously," from malignus (see malign (adj.)). Related: Maligned; maligning.
malignancy (n.)
c.1600, "malignant nature," from malignant + -cy. Of growths, tumors, from 1680s.
malignant (adj.)
1560s, in reference to diseases, from Middle French malignant and directly from Late Latin malignantem (nominative malignans) "acting from malice," present participle of malignare "injure maliciously" (see malign (v.)). Earlier in the church malignant "followers of the antichrist," from Latin ecclesiam malignantum in early Church writing, applied by Protestant writers to the Church in Rome (1540s). As an adjective, Middle English used simple malign (early 14c.). Related: Malignantly.
maligner (n.)
early 15c., agent noun from malign (v.).
malignity (n.)
late 14c., from Old French maligneté, from Latin malignitas "ill-will, spite," from malignus (see malign (adj.)).
malinger (v.)
1820, from French malingrer "to suffer," perhaps also "pretend to be ill," from malingre "ailing, sickly" (13c.), of uncertain origin, possibly a blend of mingre "sickly, miserable" and malade "ill." Mingre is itself a blend of maigre "meager" + haingre "sick, haggard," possibly from Germanic (compare Middle High German hager "thin"). The sense evolution may be through notion of beggars with sham sores. Related: Malingered; malingering; malingerer (1785).
malison (n.)
"a curse," mid-13c., from Old French maleiçon "curse," from Latin maledictionem (see malediction).
malkin (n.)
also mawkin, "a slattern; woman of the lower classes," late 13c., from fem. proper name Malkyn, a diminutive of Mault "Maud" (see Matilda). Also attested from c.1200 as the proper name of a female specter. Sense of "untidy woman" led to meaning "mop, bundle of rags on a stick" (used to clean ovens, artillery pieces, etc.), c.1400.
MALKINTRASH. One in dismal garb. [Grose, "Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue," London, 1785]
Attested as the name of a cat since 1670s (perhaps earlier as Grimalkin, 16c.); compare Serbo-Croatian mačka "cat," originally a pet-name form of Maria. Also used in Scotland and northern England as the name of a hare (1724).
mall (n.)
1737, "shaded walk serving as a promenade," generalized from The Mall, name of a broad, tree-lined promenade in St. James's Park, London (so called from 1670s, earlier Maill, 1640s), which was so called because it formerly was an open alley that was used to play pall-mall, a croquet-like game involving hitting a ball with a mallet through a ring, from French pallemaille, from Italian pallamaglio, from palla "ball" (see balloon) + maglio "mallet" (see mallet). Modern sense of "enclosed shopping gallery" is from 1963. Mall rat is from 1985.
mallard (n.)
c.1300, "wild drake or duck," from Old French malart (12c.) or Medieval Latin mallardus, apparently from male, from Latin masculus (see male), in which case the original sense probably was not of a specific species but of any male wild duck, though the specific sense of "male of the wild duck" was not attested in English until early 14c.
malleability (n.)
1680s, from malleable + -ity.
malleable (adj.)
late 14c., "capable of being shaped by hammering," from Middle French malleable and directly from Medieval Latin malleabilis, from malleare "to beat with a hammer," from Latin malleus "hammer" (see mallet). Figurative sense, of persons, "capable of being adapted" first recorded 1610s.
malleolus (n.)
bone knob at the ankle, 1690s, from Latin malleolus, diminutive of malleus "a hammer" (see mallet). Anatomical use is said to date to Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564).
mallet (n.)
late 14c., from Old French maillet "mallet, small wooden hammer, door-knocker," diminutive of mail, from Latin malleus "a hammer," from PIE *mal-ni-, from root *mel- (1) "soft," with derivatives referring to softened material and tools for grinding (cognates: Hittite mallanzi "they grind;" Armenian malem "I crush, bruise;" Greek malakos "soft," mylos "millstone;" Latin molere "to grind," mola "millstone, mill," milium "millet;" Old English melu "meal, flour;" Albanian miel "meal, flour;" Old Church Slavonic meljo, Lithuanian malu "to grind;" Old Church Slavonic mlatu, Russian molotu "hammer").
malleus (n.)
ear bone, 1660s, from Latin malleus "a hammer" (see mallet). So called for its shape.
mallow (n.)
late 14c., from late Old English malwe, from Latin malva "mallows," from a pre-Latin Mediterranean language. The same lost word apparently yielded Greek malakhe "mallow."
malmsey (n.)
c.1400, type of strong, sweet white wine, from Provençal malmesie or Middle Dutch malemesye, both from Medieval Latin malmasia, from Medieval Greek Monembasia "Monemvasia," a town in the southern Peloponnesus that was an important center of wine production in the Middle Ages, literally "only one entrance," from monos "alone, only" (see mono-) + embasis "entering into," from en- "in" + basis "a going, a stepping, a base" (see basis).
malnourished (adj.)
1906, from mal- "bad, badly" + nourished (see nourish).
malnourishment (n.)
1899, see mal- + nourishment.
malnutrition (n.)
1843, from mal- + nutrition.
malocclusion (n.)
1864, from mal- + occlusion.
malodorous (adj.)
1832, from mal- "bad" + odorous. Related: Malodorously; malodorousness.
malpractice (n.)
1670s, hybrid coined from mal- + practice (n.). Also used in law for "illegal action by which a person seeks a benefit for himself while in a position of trust" (1758).
malt (n.)
Old English malt (Anglian), mealt (West Saxon), from Proto-Germanic *maltam (cognates: Old Norse malt, Old Saxon malt, Middle Dutch, Dutch mout, Old High German malz, German Malz "malt"), from PIE *meld- (see melt (v.)), extended form of root *mel- "soft," probably via notion of "softening" the grain by steeping it in water before brewing. Finnish mallas, Old Church Slavonic mlato are considered to be borrowed from Germanic.
malt (v.)
mid-15c., "to convert grain to malt," from malt (n.). Meaning + "to make with malt" is from c.1600. Related: Malted; malting. Malt liquor (which is fermented, not brewed) first attested 1690s. Malted "a drink with malted milk" is from 1945.
Malta
Mediterranean island, from Latin Melite, perhaps from Phoenician melita, literally "place of refuge," from malat "he escaped."
Maltese
from Malta + -ese. Maltese cat is attested from 1830; Maltese cross is from 1754 (earlier Malta cross, 1650s).
malthouse (n.)
late Old English mealthus; see malt (n.) + house (n.).
Malthusian (n.)
1812, from the teachings of English economist Thomas R. Malthus (1766-1835), especially with regard to population increase. As an adjective by 1818. Related: Malthusianism.
maltreat (v.)
1708, from French maltraiter, or formed in English from mal- + treat (v.). Related: Maltreated; maltreating.
maltreatment (n.)
1721, from French maltraitement or formed in English from mal- + treatment.
maltster (n.)
"maker of malt," early 14c. (late 13c. as a surname), from malt + -ster.
malty (adj.)
1817, from malt (n.) + -y (2).
malversation (n.)
"professional or official corruption," 1540s, from French malversation, from malverser, from Latin male versari, from male "wrongly, ill" (see mal-) + versari "to behave, conduct oneself," passive frequentative of vertere "to turn" (see versus).