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From Middle French malcontent, from mal- +‎ content; compare Late Latin malecontentus.



malcontent (comparative more malcontent, superlative most malcontent)

  1. Dissatisfied with current conditions; disaffected, discontented, rebellious.
    • 1810, Joseph Milner; Isaac Milner, “Century XIII. Chap. VI. Authors and Eminent Persons in this Century.”, in The History of the Church of Christ. Volume the Fourth: Containing the Remainder of the Thirteenth Century; also the Fourteenth, Fifteenth, and Part of the Sixteenth Centuries. Edited on the Plan and in Part from the Mss. of the Late Rev. Joseph Milner, A.M. Edition the Second, with Large Additions, Corrections, etc. by the Revd. Isaac Milner, D.D., F.R.S. Dean of Carlisle, and President of Queen's College, Cambridge (The Works of the Late Rev. Joseph Milner, A.M.; IV), 2nd edition, London: Printed by Luke Hansard & Sons, for T[homas] Cadell and W. Davies, in the Strand, OCLC 669224611, page 24:
      [Alban] Butler also commends the piety of Simon Montfort, the persecutor of the Albigenses, and the father of the famous malcontent earl of Leicester, who flourished in the reign of king Henry III.
    • 1838 May, “Description of the Portrait of Queen Anne”, in The Court Magazine and Monthly Critic, and the Lady's Magazine and Museum, a Family Journal of Original Tales, Reviews of Literature, the Fine Arts, Music, Drama, Fashions, &c. &c. (United Series), volume XII, London: Dobbs & Co., OCLC 42351671, page 55, column 1:
      The duke of Gloucester was a sickly child [] he died of a sore throat, and rash fever, occasioned by an imprudent participation in the festivities of his birthday. The famous humourist, Dr. [John] Radcliffe, the Abernethy of his day, who was malcontent with the government, was called in too late, he declared, to save his royal patient.
    • 1851, Hugh A. Garland, quoting John Randolph of Roanoke, “The Virginia Convention—Every Change is Not Reform”, in The Life of John Randolph of Roanoke, volume II, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, 200 Broadway; Philadelphia, Pa.: Geo[rge] S[wett] Appleton, 164 Chestnut-Street, OCLC 1965434, page 331:
      Sir, I will stake any thing short of my salvation, that those who are malcontent now, will be more malcontent three years hence, than they are at this day. I have no favor for this Constitution.
    • 1999, Jodi J. Olshevski; Anne D. Katz; Bob G. Knight; T. J. McCallum, “Stress-Neutral Thoughts”, in Stress Reduction for Caregivers, Philadelphia, Pa.; London: Brunner/Mazel, ISBN 978-0-87630-940-7; republished New York, N.Y.: Routledge, 2012, page 94:
      The stress created by all of the changes seemed to be more than she could handle. Initially, she thought her husband was malcontent on purpose and felt he was aware of the arguments he seemed to be starting.


malcontent (plural malcontents)

  1. A person who is not satisfied with current conditions; a discontented person, a rebel.
    • c. 1603, John Marston; John Webster, The Malcontent. Augmented by Marston. With the Additions Played by the Kings Maiesties Servants. Written by Ihon Webster, London, Printed by V[alentine] S[immes] for William Aspley, and are to be sold at his shop in Paules Church-yard, published 1604, OCLC 27892682; republished in [Isaac Reed, editor], A Select Collection of Old Plays. In Twelve Volumes. The Second Edition, Corrected and Collated with the Old Copies. With Notes Critical and Explanatory, volume IV, 2nd corr. edition, London: Printed by J[ohn] Nichols; for J[ames] Dodsley, Pall Mall, 1780, OCLC 645791152, page 17:
      The diſcord rather than the muſick is heard from the malcontent Malevole's chamber.
    • 1734, “a country clergyman”, A Caveat against Seditious Malcontents: or, a Disswasive from Encouraging or Fomenting Popular Discontents and Disorders, in the Kingdom. In a Serious and Earnest Address to the Subjects of Great-Britain, London: Printed for Rest Fenner, bookseller, in Mercery-Lane, Canterbury: And sold by S. Birt, in Ave-Mary-Lane, London, OCLC 557614377, page 27:
      For is it not eaſy to ſee, that a Prince made odious and contemptible, will ſoon be removed from his Throne, when it is in the Power of the Malecontents to bring about ſuch a fatal Revolution?
    • 1856 February 21, “Representative Men. The Malcontent.”, in Melbourne Punch, volume II, Melbourne, Vic.: Printed & published at the Office, 23 Collins-Street, East, OCLC 930597270, page 17:
      He is the victim of circumstances, and their martyr. His asseverations of the facts are so frequent and so earnest, that it is impossible to dispute it. [] Everywhere confronted by implacable circumstance, what remained for the malcontent but to flee from his enemy, and endeavour to retrieve his broken fortunes in a new world! [] So the malcontent took passage for Australia, and blessed us with his presence.
  2. (obsolete) A state of discontentment or dissatisfaction; something that causes discontent.
    • 1967, Leonard [H.] Covello, “The Social Structure of the Southern Italian Town”, in Francesco Cordasco, editor, The Social Background of the Italo-American School Child: A Study of the Southern Italian Family Mores and Their Effect on the School Situation in Italy and America, Leiden: E. J. Brill, OCLC 424152, page 84:
      If there was malcontent on his part, it did not spring from economic limitations alone, but also from the effect of these economic limitations upon his social and legal status as a small farmer. The state of constant indebtdness in which the contadino found himself contributed to his malcontent.

Related terms[edit]


malcontent (third-person singular simple present malcontents, present participle malcontenting, simple past and past participle malcontented)

  1. (transitive, obsolete) To cause discontent or dissatisfaction.
    • 1966, R. Z. Sheppard, Book Review Digest, volume 62, New York, N.Y.: H. W. Wilson Company, OCLC 6038062, page 732:
      [] James Bond adventure with a Ward Bond delivery, reams of malcontenting and anti-literary remarks, first-class manipulation of Anglo-Saxon's juicier words, and quotations from the Great Books and from William Kite's notebook.



malcontent (comparative malcontenter, superlative malcontentst)

  1. dissatisfied


malcontent m (plural malcontenten, diminutive malcontentje n)

  1. A discontent person.
    1. (historical, Roman Catholicism) A Dutch Roman Catholic noble who served the Spanish cause early in the Dutch revolt.
    2. (historical, Protestantism) A liberal Protestant in the early 20th century who rejected conventional liberalism and almost deistic theology and advocated social gospel theology and politics.




Middle French malcontent.


malcontent (feminine singular malcontente, masculine plural malcontents, feminine plural malcontentes)

  1. (dated) unhappy

Middle French[edit]


mal- +‎ content.


malcontent m (feminine singular malcontente, masculine plural malcontents, feminine plural malcontentes)

  1. unhappy



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malcontent m (plural malcontents)

  1. (Jersey) malcontent