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tr.v. ma·ligned, ma·lign·ing, ma·ligns
To make evil, harmful, and often untrue statements about (someone).
1. Evil or harmful in nature or effect: "He felt that the malign influence of the house had governed his own disintegration" (Thomas Wolfe).
2. Intending or threatening harm or ill will; malevolent: "a snarling, bickering husky ... heavy-chested, with a malign eye" (Jack London).

[Middle English malignen, to attack, from Old French malignier, from Late Latin malignārī, from Latin malignus, malign; see genə- in Indo-European roots. Adj., from Middle English, from Old French, from Latin malignus.]

ma·lign′er n.
ma·lign′ly adv.
Synonyms: malign, defame, traduce, vilify, slander, calumniate, libel
These verbs mean to make evil, harmful, often untrue statements about another. Malign stresses malicious intent: "Have I not taken your part when you were maligned?" (William Makepeace Thackeray).
Defame suggests damage to reputation through misrepresentation: The plaintiff had been defamed and had legitimate grounds for a lawsuit.
Traduce connotes the humiliation or disgrace resulting from such damage: "My character was traduced by Captain Hawkins ... even the ship's company cried out shame" (Frederick Marryat).
Vilify pertains to open, deliberate, vicious defamation: "As long as there have been personal fouls and holding penalties, sports fans have vilified referees for making bad calls" (Jason Zinoman).
Slander and calumniate apply to oral expression: He slandered his political opponent. She calumniated and ridiculed her former employer.
Libel involves the communication of written or pictorial material: The celebrity sued the tabloid that libeled her.
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.
References in classic literature ?
Lydgate was not at all sure that the Vicar maligned himself.
Singer Ogie Alcasid came to the defense of his wife, Asia's Songbird Regine Velasquez after radio host Ben Tulfo 'maligned' her in a Facebook livestream.
The NAB Lahore DG "provided details of the matters that are sub-judice" and "maligned the reputation" of opposition members in the National Assembly, the motion said.
He said that the aim of summoning record of interview is to see if DG NAB made any statements against facts and in what manner it maligned the honourable lawmakers.
'I have written a letter to the NAB chairman telling him that his decision has maligned my reputation.
'We have all the evidence to discredit the now maligned entry test and will provide them to the court,' they added.
Talking to media outside the Federal Judicial Academy, the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) leader Daniyal Aziz said that PML-N always respected all the institutions and refuted the allegations that it maligned state institutions.
On the other hand, Nava claimed that Mabilog was behind the so-called release of the "white paper" that maligned the councilor.
THE Congress on Sunday defended its Lok Sabha candidate from Saharanpur, Imran Masood, and said the BJP's complaint to the Election Commission over his alleged remark against Narendra Modi maligned the ruling party and violated the poll code.
28 ( ANI ): Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament (MP) Kunal Ghosh, who has been suspended from the Trinamool Congress (TMC) for his anti-party activities, on Saturday said the allegation that his statement has maligned the image of the party is baseless.