mal·ice /'ma-ləs/ n
1 a: the intention or desire to cause harm (as death, bodily injury, or property damage) to another through an unlawful or wrongful act without justification or excuse
b: wanton disregard for the rights of others or for the value of human life
c: an improper or evil motive or purpose
if malice cannot be proved or a benign purpose can be imagined — David Kairys
d: actual malice (2) in this entry
actual malice
1: malice proved by evidence to exist or have existed in one that inflicts unjustified harm on another: as
a: an intent to injure or kill
b: malice (2) – called also express malice, malice in fact;
2 a: the knowledge that defamatory statements esp. regarding a public figure are false
b: reckless disregard of the truth see also public figure; new york times co. v. sullivan in the important cases section
implied malice: malice inferred from the nature or consequences of a harmful act done without justification or excuse; also: malice inferred from subjective awareness of duty or of the likely results of one's act – called also legal malice, malice in law;
malice aforethought: actual or implied malice existing in or attributed to the intention of one that injures or esp. kills without justification or excuse and usu. requiring some degree of deliberation or premeditation or wanton disregard for life
murder is the unlawful killing of a human being, or a fetus, with malice aforethoughtCalifornia Penal Code
malice in fact: actual malice (1) in this entry
malice in law: implied malice in this entry
2: feelings of ill will, spite, or revenge
◇ Such feelings are usu. not an important component of malice in legal consideration unless punitive damages or actual malice is an issue.

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

I noun acrimony, active ill will, animosity, animus, antagonism, antipathy, aversion, bad intent, bad intention, bitter animosity, conscious violation of law, contempt, culpable recklessness, detestation, disaffection, dislike, enmity, evil disposition, evil intent, hard feelings, hard-heartedness, harmful desire, hate, hatred, hostility, ill feeling, ill will, intentional wrongdoing, invidia, invidiousness, loathing, malevolence, malevolentia, maliciousness, malignitas, malignity, odium, personal hatred, pique, pitilessness, rancor, rankling, repugnance, repulsion, resentment, spite, spitefulness, umbrage, venom, viciousness, violent animosity, wanton disregard, wrath associated concepts: actual malice, constructive malice, implied malice, legal malice, malice aforethought, malice in fact, malice in law, malicious abandonment, malicious abuse of process, malicious arrest, malicious injury, malicious intent, malicious mischief, malicious prosecution, malicious use, malicious wrong, universal malice foreign phrases:
- In criminalibus, sufficit generalis malitia intentionis, cum facto paris gradus. — In crimes, a general malicious intent suffices where there is an act of equal degree.
- Malitia est acida; est mall animi affectus. — Malice is sour, it is the quality of an evil mind
- Maleficia propositis distinguuntur. — Evil deeds are distinguished by their evil purposes
- MalMis hominum est obviandum. — The malicious designs of men must be thwarted
- Eum qui nocentem infamat, non est aequum et bonum ob earn rem condemnari; deli eta enim nocentlum nota esse oportet et expedit — It is not just and proper that he who speaks ill of a bad man should be condemned on that account, for it is fitting and expedient that the crimes of bad men be made known
- Malum non praesumkur. — Evil is not presumed
II index alienation (estrangement), cruelty, ill will, odium, rancor, resentment, spite

Burton's Legal Thesaurus. . 2006

Evil intention; an intention to do a wrongful act or commit a crime without any justification or excuse.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.

A willful or intentional state of mind, in which the actor intends to bring about an injury or wrongdoing.
1) In criminal law, malice can be evident by the act itself, as when someone purposefully injures someone else. Murder requires proof of malicious intent, and first-degree murder requires "malice aforethought."
2) In a defamation lawsuit (libel or slander), the jury's finding that the defendant acted with malice may increase the plaintiff's damages. In order for a public figure to win a defamation lawsuit, he or she must prove malice on the part of the defendant. (See also: malice aforethought)
Category: Accidents & Injuries
Category: Criminal Law
Category: Representing Yourself in Court
Category: Small Claims Court & Lawsuits

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

n. The state of mind of one intentionally performing a wrongful act.
@ constructive malice
Malice which can be imputed to the actor because of the nature of the acts committed and the result thereby.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.

The intentional commission of a wrongful act, absent justification, with the intent to cause harm to others; conscious violation of the law that injures another individual; a mental state indicating a disposition in disregard of social duty and a tendency toward malfeasance.

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.

The intentional commission of a wrongful act, absent justification, with the intent to cause harm to others; conscious violation of the law that injures another individual; a mental state indicating a disposition in disregard of social duty and a tendency toward malfeasance.

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

   a conscious, intentional wrongdoing either of a civil wrong like libel (false written statement about another) or a criminal act like assault or murder, with the intention of doing harm to the victim. This intention includes ill-will, hatred or total disregard for the other's well-being. Often the mean nature of the act itself implies malice, without the party saying "I did it because I was mad at him, and I hated him," which would be express malice. Malice is an element in first degree murder. In a lawsuit for defamation (libel and slander) the existence of malice may increase the judgment to include general damages. Proof of malice is absolutely necessary for a "public figure" to win a lawsuit for defamation.

Law dictionary. . 2013.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • malice — [ malis ] n. f. • déb. XIIe; lat. malitia « méchanceté » 1 ♦ Vx ou littér. Aptitude et inclination à faire le mal, à nuire par des voies détournées. ⇒ malignité, méchanceté. « La meilleure [femme] est toujours en malice féconde » (Molière). Mod.… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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  • malice — Malice. s. f. Meschanceté, inclination à nuire, à mal faire. Grande malice. il a un fond de malice. cela procede d une malice noire. sa malice est descouverte. il est plein de malice. il a fait cela par malice. s il ne fait pas bien, c est belle… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • malice — malice, ill will, malevolence, spite, despite, malignity, malignancy, spleen, grudge denote a feeling or a state of mind which leads one to desire that another or others should suffer pain or injury. Malice usually implies a deep seated and,… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

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  • malice — mal ice (m[a^]l [i^]s), n. [F. malice, fr. L. malitia, from malus bad, ill, evil, prob. orig., dirty, black; cf. Gr. me las black, Skr. mala dirt. Cf. {Mauger}.] 1. Enmity of heart; malevolence; ill will; a spirit delighting in harm or misfortune …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • malice — Malice, Astutia, Dolus malus, Malitia. Malice finement pourpensée, Malitia accurata. Malice naturelle, Natiuum malum. De ma propre malice, Meapte malitia. C est plus par la malice des hommes que des femmes, Magis haec malitia pertinet ad viros,… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

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  • malice — [mal′is] n. [OFr < L malitia < malus, bad: see MAL ] 1. active ill will; desire to harm another or to do mischief; spite 2. Law evil intent; state of mind shown by intention to do, or intentional doing of, something unlawful malice… …   English World dictionary

  • malice — (n.) c.1300, desire to hurt another, from O.Fr. malice ill will, spite, sinfulness, wickedness (12c.), from L. malitia badness, ill will, spite, from malus bad (see MAL (Cf. mal )). In legal use, wrongful intent generally (1540s) …   Etymology dictionary

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