Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: Malin, malîn, and malīn



Borrowed from Latin malignus (wicked, malicious).


  • IPA(key): /ma.lɛ̃/
  • (file)


malin (feminine singular maligne, masculine plural malins, feminine plural malignes)

  1. smart and quick-thinking, and often a trickster; cunning, crafty.
    Comme c'est malin !
    How smart!
  2. Intelligent, bright.
  3. (medicine) Malignant.
    Antonym: tumeur maligne
    Antonym: bénin
  4. (Quebec) Said of an aggressive animal or a petulant person.
  5. (chiefly dated or biblical) Malicious, sadistic; which likes to do or say hurtful things for fun.
  6. (obsolete) Nocive; pernicious.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Common usage is to form the feminine by adding an -e, following the regular rule. However, despite the fact that the form maline has been largely used in spoken language for centuries, it is still considered incorrect and the form maligne, yet scarcely used orally, is expected in careful writing.
  • In its meaning of “malicious” the word is mostly restricted to expressions such as malin plaisir; it is a standard attribute of the Devil.



malin m (plural malins, feminine maligne)

  1. trickster, smart person

Derived terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]