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mal-(word root) bad, evil
Abused, Confused, & Misused Words by Mary Embree Copyright © 2007, 2013 by Mary Embree
1. Bad; badly: maladminister.
2. Abnormal; abnormally: malformation.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin, from male, badly, and malus, bad; see mel- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
bad or badly; wrong or wrongly; imperfect or defective: maladjusted; malfunction.
[Old French, from Latin malus bad, male badly]
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)]
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