Vocabulary Building: “MALEVOLENT” – Meaning and Usage

In today’s video we’ll continue to expand our vocabulary and learn a new English word – “malevolent.”

Let’s break it into parts and learn the word’s origin.

The root of the word – “vol” comes from Latin “velle,” which means “to wish.”

Prefix “male-” also comes from Latin and means “ill” or “evil.”

And suffix “-ent” in English helps form an adjective and means “he who” or “that which…”

And thus, the literal meaning of “benevolent” is “he who wishes ill.”

To be malevolent means to have or show intention to do evil; wicked. And the word can be applied to people, fictional characters, or even intentions or acts.

Here is an example of how to use the word in a sentence:

“We all thought the practical joke was funny, but Suzy treated it as totally malevolent.”



Tutor Phil

Tutor Phil is an e-learning professional who helps adult learners finish their degrees by teaching them academic writing skills.

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