Mal-(ml-). A prefix in composition denoting ill, or evil, F. male, adv., fr. malus, bad, ill. In some words it has the form male-, as in malediction, malevolent. See Malice.
The form male- is chiefly used in cases where the , either alone or with other letters, is pronounced as a separate syllable, as in malediction, malefactor, maleficent, etc. Where this is not the case, as in malfeasance or male-feasance, malformation or male-formation, etc., as also where the word to which it is prefixed commences with a vowel, as in maladministration, etc., the form
mal is to be preferred, and is the one commonly employed.
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Wed 11th December 2019