malign

If you malign someone, you badmouth them — just like the jilted girlfriend who tells the whole school her ex has bad breath and head lice.

When you habitually malign people, you risk being described as "a malign influence" — in this case, malign is an adjective that describes a harmful or even evil person or thing. Whichever way you use the word, its connection to wickedness can be found in its Latin root, malignus, "wicked or bad-natured," which combines male, or "badly" and -gnus, "born."

Definitions of malign
1

v speak unfavorably about

Synonyms:
badmouth, drag through the mud, traduce
Type of:
asperse, besmirch, calumniate, defame, denigrate, slander, smear, smirch, sully
charge falsely or with malicious intent; attack the good name and reputation of someone

adj evil or harmful in nature or influence

“prompted by malign motives”
“believed in witches and malign spirits”
“gave him a malign look”
“a malign lesion”
Synonyms:
maleficent
harmful or evil in intent or effect
cancerous
like a cancer; an evil that grows and spreads
harmful
causing or capable of causing harm
unkind
lacking kindness
Antonyms:
benign, benignant
pleasant and beneficial in nature or influence
kindly
pleasant and agreeable
harmless
not causing or capable of causing harm
kind
having or showing a tender and considerate and helpful nature; used especially of persons and their behavior
show more antonyms...

adj having or exerting a malignant influence

Synonyms:
evil, malefic, malevolent
maleficent
harmful or evil in intent or effect

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