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Definition & Meaning: Mal Word Root

Root words are the essence of lexical growth, much like how branches extend from a tree’s trunk. Among these roots, ‘Mal’ stands out, particularly in its conveyance of negative connotations, stemming from the Latin ‘male’, meaning ‘badly’.

Example sentence: After experiencing severe maladies during pregnancy, she gave birth to a malformed infant, illustrating the harsh reality of ‘mal-‘ influenced conditions.

Mal Root Word Tree Diagram: Malaise, Malign, Malady

Words Based on the Mal Word Root

Commonly Used Words based on the Mal Word Root

  • Malaise: A general feeling of discomfort or unease.
  • Malign: To speak about someone in a spitefully critical manner.
  • Malady: A disease or ailment.

Technical Words/Jargon based on the Mal Word Root

  • Malabsorption: Poor absorption of nutrients by the digestive system.
  • Malfeasance: The performance by a public official of an act that is legally unjustified, harmful, or contrary to law.
  • Malignant: (Of a disease) very virulent or infectious.

Archaic Words based on the Mal Word Root

  • Malapropism: The mistaken use of a word in place of a similar-sounding one, often with unintentionally amusing effect.
  • Mala fide: In bad faith; with intent to deceive.
  • Malcontent: A person who is dissatisfied and rebellious.

Related Word Roots

  • Dys- (Greek): Denoting something faulty or abnormal. Examples include ‘dysfunction’ and ‘dystopia’.
  • Neg- (Latin): Meaning ‘no’ or ‘not’, as seen in ‘negate’ and ‘negligent’.
  • Mis- (Old English): Implies wrong or erroneous, with examples like ‘mistake’ and ‘misfortune’.

Want to explore more Word Roots?

Explore Our Full Word Roots Section

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