Pathology. tending to create death, as bubonic plague. (of a tumor) identified by uncontrolled growth; cancerous, invasive, or metastatic.

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1535–45; malignant- (stem the malignāns), present participle that malignāre come act maliciously. Watch malign, -ant
ma·lig·nant·ly, adverbnon·ma·lig·nant, adjectivenon·ma·lig·nant·ly, adverbsem·i·ma·lig·nant, adjective
malicious, malicious mischief, Mali empire, malign, malignancy, malignant, malignant anemia, malignant bubo, malignant ciliary epithelioma, malignant dyskeratosis, malignant fibrous histiocytoma

In a clinical context, the word malignant is used to describe harmful masses or tumors that are cancerous and also that grow and spread disease. Words benign is the opposite—it’s offered to explain masses or tumors that are not cancer (those that carry out not spread an illness to various other parts the the body).

Both words room sometimes also used in basic ways. Malignant can mean harmful or to plan or intending to cause harm, while benign have the right to mean kind, favorable, or gracious.

The best clue to assist remember their interpretations is the prefix mal-, which means “bad” and also shows increase in a most other an unfavorable words, such together malfunction, malpractice, malicious, and maleficent.

Here’s an example of malignant and benign provided correctly in the same sentence.

Example: She was afraid the lump to be a malignant tumor, but it turned out to it is in a bright cyst—totally harmless.

Want to learn more? read the full breakdown of the difference between malignant and benign.

Quiz you yourself on malignant vs. benign!

Should malignant or benign be supplied in the adhering to sentence?

I have the right to assure you that my intentions are completely _____—I average no harm.

learn more about malignant

“Malignant” vs. “Benign”: which Is Which?Waiting because that a medical diagnosis is always stressful. Knowing the difference between the terms "malignant" and "benign" can help prepare you for any result.

Words concerned malignant

fatal, deadly, cancerous, mortal, lethal, destructive, internecine, poisonous, pestilential

How to use malignant in a sentence

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British meanings for malignant

/ (məˈlɪɡnənt) /
having or mirroring desire to damage others
tending to cause an excellent harm; injurious
pathol (of a tumour) uncontrollable or resistant to therapy; rapidly spreading
history (in the English civil War) a Parliamentarian term for a royalist (def. 1)

Derived creates of malignant

malignantly, adverb

Word origin for malignant

C16: from so late Latin malīgnāre come behave spitefully, from Latin malīgnus malign

Medical interpretations for malignant

< mə-lĭg′nənt >
Threatening come life, as a disease; virulent.
Tending come metastasize; cancerous. Used of a tumor.

Scientific interpretations for malignant

< mə-lĭg′nənt >
Tending to have a damaging clinical course, together a malignant illness.
Relating to cancer cells that room invasive and tend to metastasize. Malignant tumor cells space histologically more primitive than typical tissue. Compare benign.

Cultural definitions for malignant


A descriptive hatchet for points or conditions that threaten life or well-being. Malignant is the opposite of benign.

See more: Four Years Later, We Catch Up With Jessy Nelson Injury Update

notes for malignant

The term malignant is provided in describing cancerous tumors (see cancer) since such growths are a risk to the wellness of the individual.

notes because that malignant

The term is often used in a general means to signify something the is both destructive and also fast growing: “The malignant development of the suburbs is destroying the landscape.”


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