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For the 1993 film, see Malice (film).

Malice, or ill will, is the intention to harm or deprive another in an illegal or immoral way, or to take pleasure in another's misfortune.


  • We are strangers to Christian love, if we harbor malice or revenge in our hearts toward any of our fellow-creatures, whatever treatment we receive at their hands.
    • Charles Backus, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 401.
  • To be useful as a Christian, a man must keep himself free from all malign feelings, from all bitterness of resentment. Even righteous indignation must not drag Love from her throne. Over all the soul's passions Love must preside in serene majesty. The Christian worker must learn (and the sooner the better) if he has not already learned, that there is something better for a Christian than to plan revenge, and nurse resentment, and call down fire from heaven, even on those who show themselves base and unworthy.
    • Prof. Ballard, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 401.
  • It has often been said that power corrupts. But it is perhaps equally important to realize that weakness, too, corrupts. Power corrupts the few, while weakness corrupts the many. Hatred, malice, rudeness, intolerance, and suspicion are the faults of weakness.
    • Eric Hoffer, The Passionate State Of Mind, and Other Aphorisms, Section 42 (1955).
  • There is probably an element of malice in the readiness to overestimate people; we are laying up for ourselves the pleasure of later cutting them down to size.
    • Eric Hoffer, “Thoughts of Eric Hoffer, Including ‘Absolute Faith Corrupts Absolutely,’” The New York Times Magazine, pp. 60, 62 (April 25, 1971).
  • At least two thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice, and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity, idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or political idols.
  • Contre la médisance il n'est point de rempart.
    • Translation: There is no rampart that will hold out against malice.
    • Molière, Tartuffe, Act I, sc. i (1664).
  • Malice delights to blacken the characters of prominent men.
  • Man loves malice, but not against one-eyed men nor the unfortunate, but against the fortunate and proud.
  • This swallowing up of life in nothingness, this obliteration of life by nothingness is what the emotion of malice ultimately desires. The eternal conflict between love and malice is the eternal contest between life and death. And this contest is what the complex vision reveals, as it moves from darkness to darkness.
  • You should not feel that your path is the only right path and that other paths are wrong. You mustn't bear malice toward others.
    • Ramakrishna, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, p. 514 (1942).
  • Beware of that which becomes the slanderer's life, of magnifying every speck of evil and closing the eye to goodness, till at last men arrive at the state in which generous, universal love (which is heaven) becomes impossible, and a suspicious, universal hate takes possession of the heart, and that is hell.
  • There is no cure for ossification of the heart. Oh, that miserable state, when to the jaundiced eye all good transforms itself into evil, and the very instruments of health become the poison of disease.
  • Malice is of a low Stature, but it hath very long Arms. It often reacheth into the next World, Death itself is not a Bar to it.
  • Malice, like Lust, when it is at the Height, doth not know Shame.
  • Of all the creatures that were made he [man] is the most detestable. Of the entire brood he is the only one — the solitary one — that possesses malice. That is the basest of all instincts, passions, vices — the most hateful...He is the only creature that inflicts pain for sport, knowing it to be pain...Also — in all the list he is the only creature that has a nasty mind.

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