V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: 1. a convicted criminal, especially a felon; 2. someone who does wrong or who hurts others

Synonyms: criminal, felon, wrongdoer, evildoer, offender, villain, delinquent

Antonyms: benefactor, humanitarian, hero, do-gooder

Tips: Malefactor is a word formed from the Latin male facere, "to do evil." This word is generally used to refer to criminals, but can also be used in a more general sense, of any evil person. A word related to malefactor is malediction, which means "to curse or say something evil against someone." Also, think of the word benefactor--someone who does good and provides money to institutions that help people. Remember benign is "good and without harm" and malignant is "harmful or wanting to do evil." Hence, a benefactor is a good person and a malefactor is an evil person. Other mal derived words include malignant, malign, malevolent, and malevolence.

Usage Examples:

It is the job of the police department to protect the people from malefactors. (criminals)

He was a malefactor who regularly betrayed others on behalf of his own success. (wrongdoer, evildoer)

She railed against them, calling down a violent malediction upon their household. (curse)

Prisons are full of malefactors who have committed a wide range of crimes. (criminals, offenders)

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