verb (used with object)
- to speak harmful untruths about; speak evil of; slander; defame: to malign an honorable man.
- evil in effect; pernicious; baleful; injurious: The gloomy house had a malign influence upon her usually good mood.
- having or showing an evil disposition; malevolent; malicious.
- evil in influence, intention, or effect
- (tr) to slander or defame
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. 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).