Malignance is a medical term that's most often used to talk about a malignant — or cancerous — tumor. It's bad news when a surgeon discovers a malignance in a patient.

You can use malignance when you talk about cancer, but you can also use it to mean the quality of being evil or of wishing ill will on someone. If a student feels malignance toward his entire class, he dislikes them all. You might wonder if war and other conflicts can ever be ended as long as groups of people feel such malignance toward other groups. The root of malignance is the Late Latin word malignantem, "injure maliciously."

Definitions of malignance
  1. noun
    (medicine) a malignant state; progressive and resistant to treatment and tending to cause death
    synonyms: malignancy
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    malignant neoplasm, malignant tumor, metastatic tumor
    a tumor that is malignant and tends to spread to other parts of the body
    a malignant neoplasm composed of carcinoma and sarcoma extensively intermixed
    cancer, malignant neoplastic disease
    any malignant growth or tumor caused by abnormal and uncontrolled cell division; it may spread to other parts of the body through the lymphatic system or the blood stream
    a rare malignant neoplasm arising from vascular tissue; usually occurs in the breast and skin and is believed to originate from the endothelial cells of blood vessels
    a tumor of the bone marrow (usually malignant) composed of cells normally found in bone marrow
    malignant tumor containing embryonic nerve cells; usually metastasizes quickly
    malignant tumor of the neuroepithelium
    malignant ocular tumor of retinal cells; usually occurs before the third year of life; composed of primitive small round retinal cells
    type of:
    an impairment of health or a condition of abnormal functioning
  2. noun
    the quality of being disposed to evil; intense ill will
    synonyms: malignancy, malignity
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    benignancy, benignity, graciousness
    the quality of being kind and gentle
    type of:
    evil, evilness
    the quality of being morally wrong in principle or practice
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