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(word root) bad, evil
Examples of words with the root mal-: malfunction, malcontent
Abused, Confused, & Misused Words by Mary Embree Copyright © 2007, 2013 by Mary Embree


abbreviation for
(Automotive Engineering) Malaysia (international car registration)
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


a combining form meaning “bad,” “wrongful,” “ill,” occurring orig. in loanwords from French (maladroit); on this model, used in the formation of other words (malcontent; malfunction). Compare male-.
[< Old French, representing mal adv. (< Latin male badly) and adj. (< Latin malus bad)]


Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
But the advisers n'entendent pas de cette oreille, voila le mal.* Some want a thing- others don't.
"Mais ce n'est pas mal! Elle s'y connait, elle a de la force, oui."
In his heart he hoped that Foinet would look at his picture, and that rare smile would come into his face, and he would shake Philip's hand and say: "Pas mal. Go on, my lad.
'Honi soit qui mal y pense.' You wanted an answer a minute ago -- there it is for you, my dear, in the choicest Norman-French."
"Honi soit qui mal y pense," murmured I, significantly.
He has no right to forget that he is an ani- mal and in me there is something that is Greek.
He muttered through his teeth, "Mal. Je ne dors plus." He moved off to stand at the window with his back to the room.
As he turned over the pages, his eye fell on the poem about the hand of Lacenaire, the cold yellow hand "du supplice encore mal lavee," with its downy red hairs and its "doigts de faune." He glanced at his own white taper fingers, shuddering slightly in spite of himself, and passed on, till he came to those lovely stanzas upon Venice:
Goodfellow went on for some half hour longer in this strain, very much to the credit both of his head and of his heart; but your warm-hearted people are seldom apposite in their observations -- they run into all sorts of blunders, contre-temps and mal apropos-isms, in the hot-headedness of their zeal to serve a friend -- thus, often with the kindest intentions in the world, doing infinitely more to prejudice his cause than to advance it.
Neither did they go about the fields screaming dis- mal tunes.
It is unparalleled for the mal de tete." He jumped up and took her cup.
Falk therefore was a beast, an ani mal; base, low, vile, despicable, shameless, and de ceitful.