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From Middle French maligneté, from Latin malignitas.


malignity (countable and uncountable, plural malignities)

  1. The quality of being malign or malignant; badness, evilness, monstrosity, depravity, maliciousness.
    • 1817 December 31 (indicated as 1818), [Walter Scott], chapter XII, in Rob Roy. [], volume II, Edinburgh: [] James Ballantyne and Co. for Archibald Constable and Co. []; London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, →OCLC, pages 251–252:
      He had some advantage in the difference of our weapons; for his sword, as I recollect, was longer than mine, [] His obvious malignity of purpose never for a moment threw him off his guard, and he exhausted every feint and strategem proper to the science of defence; while, at the same time, he mediated the most desperate catastrophe to our rencounter.
    • 1860 December – 1861 August, Charles Dickens, chapter LIII, in Great Expectations [], volumes (please specify |volume=I to III), London: Chapman and Hall, [], published October 1861, →OCLC:
      His enjoyment of the spectacle I furnished, as he sat with his arms folded on the table, shaking his head at me and hugging himself, had a malignity in it that made me tremble.
    • 1907, Barbara Baynton, edited by Sally Krimmer and Alan Lawson, Human Toll (Portable Australian Authors: Barbara Baynton), St Lucia: University of Queensland Press, published 1980, page 265:
      On the door-threshold Mina turned, and her eyes fastened on Woona in concentrated malignity.
  2. A non-benign cancer; a malignancy.
    • 2005, Jun;106(3):177-80 English abstract of French article "Multiple metastases of a mandibular ameloblastoma" R.L. Abada et al., "Multiple metastases of a mandibular ameloblastoma", Revue de stomatologie et de chirurgie maxillo-faciale
      The absence of any histological sign of malignity in the primary tumor and in the metastases, as observed in our patient, is remarkable.