- desire to inflict injury, harm, or suffering on another, either because of a hostile impulse or out of deep-seated meanness: the malice and spite of a lifelong enemy.
- Law. evil intent on the part of a person who commits a wrongful act injurious to others.
- the desire to do harm or mischief
- evil intent
- law the state of mind with which an act is committed and from which the intent to do wrong may be inferredSee also malice aforethought
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).