mako (n.)
"large blue shark," listed as 1727 in OED, from "The History of Japan," English translation of Engelbert Kaempfer's German manuscript; however this is claimed by some to be an error, and some say Kaempfer's word represents Japanese makkô(-kujira) "sperm whale." But the description in the text fits neither the shark nor the whale. The word is ultimately from Maori mako "shark, shark's tooth," which is of uncertain etymology. If the 1727 citation is an error, the earliest attested use is 1820, from a book on New Zealand languages.
mal du siecle (n.)
French, mal du sìecle, "world-weariness."
mal-
word-forming element meaning "bad, badly, ill, poorly, wrong, wrongly," from French mal (adv.), from Old French mal (adj., adv.) "evil, ill, wrong, wrongly" (9c.), from Latin male (adv.) "badly," or malus (adj.) "bad, evil" (fem. mala, neuter malum), from Proto-Italic *malo-, from PIE *mol-o-, source also of Old Irish mell "destruction," Greek meleos "idle; unhappy," Armenian mel "sin," Lithuanian melas "lie," Latvian malds "mistake," possbily also Greek blasphemein "to slander." The semantics fit, but the exact sense of the root remains uncertain, "since it concerns a collection of largely isolated words in different IE branches" [de Vaan]. Most Modern English words with this element are 19c. coinages.
malabsorption (n.)
1879, from mal- + absorption.
Malachi
masc. proper name, Old Testament name of the last in order of the Twelve Prophets, from Hebrew Mal'akhi, literally "my messenger," from mal'akh "messenger," from Semitic base l-'-k (compare Arabic la'aka "he sent").
malachite (n.)
common green ore of copper, late 14c., from French, ultimately from Greek malachitis (lithos) "mallow (stone)," from malakhe "mallow" (see mallow (n.)); the mineral traditionally so called from resemblance of its color to that of the leaves of the mallow plant.
malacia (n.)
from Latin malacia "a calm at sea," from Greek malakia "softness, delicacy, effeminacy," from malakos "soft," from PIE root *mel- (1) "soft."
maladaptation (n.)
1829, from mal- + adaptation.
maladaptive (adj.)
1912, from mal- + adaptive.
maladjusted (adj.)
1846, from mal- + adjusted (see adjust).
maladjustment (n.)
1823, from mal- + adjustment.
maladministration (n.)
also mal-administration, 1640s, from mal- + administration.
maladroit (adj.)
1670s, from mal- + adroit. Related: Maladroitly; maladroitness.
malady (n.)
late 13c., from Old French maladie "sickness, illness, disease" (13c.), from malade "ill" (12c.), from Latin male habitus "doing poorly, feeling sick," literally "ill-conditioned," from male "badly" (see mal-) + habitus, past participle of habere "to have, hold" (from PIE root *ghabh- "to give or receive"). Related: Maladies.
Malaga (n.)
c. 1600, white wine exported from the Spanish port of Malaga, founded by the Phoenicians and probably from Phoenician malha "salt."
Malagasy
"pertaining to Madagascar," large island off the coast of Africa, 1835, apparently a native alteration of Madagascar.
malaise (n.)
c. 1300, maleise "pain, suffering; sorrow, anxiety," also, by late 14c., "disease, sickness," from Old French malaise "difficulty, suffering, hardship," literally "ill-ease," from mal "bad" (see mal-) + aise "ease" (see ease (n.)). The current use is perhaps a mid-18c. reborrowing from Modern French. A Middle English verbal form, malasen "to trouble, distress" (mid-15c.), from Old French malaisier, did not endure.
malamute (n.)
also malemute, Eskimo dog, 1874, from name of Alaska Eskimo tribe in northwestern Alaska that developed the breed. The native form is malimiut.
malapert (adj.)
"impudent," early 15c., from Old French mal apert, literally "ill-skilled," from mal- "badly" (see mal-) + apert "skillful," variant of espert "experienced, skillful, clever" (from Latin expertus; see expert). Related: Malapertly; malapertness.
malaprop (n.)
1823, from name of theatrical character Mrs. Malaprop (see malapropism). Related: Malapropian.
malapropism (n.)
1826, from Mrs. Malaprop, character in Sheridan's play "The Rivals" (1775), noted for her ridiculous misuse of large words (such as "contagious countries" for "contiguous countries"), her name coined from malapropos.
malapropos (adv.)
1660s, from French mal à propos "inopportunely, inappropriately," literally "badly for the purpose," from mal (see mal-) + proposer "propose" (see propose).
malaria (n.)
1740, from Italian mal'aria, from mala aria, literally "bad air," from mala "bad" (fem. of malo, from Latin malus; see mal-) + aria "air" (see air (n.1)). Probably first used by Italian physician Francisco Torti (1658-1741). The disease, now known to be mosquito-borne, once was thought to be caused by foul air in marshy districts. Replaced native ague.
malarial (adj.)
1830, from malaria + -al (1).
malarkey (n.)
also malarky, "lies and exaggerations," 1924, American English, of unknown origin. It also is a surname. Meaning much the same thing at about the same time in U.S. slang was ackamarackus (1934).
malassimilation (n.)
also mal-assimilation, 1840, from mal- + assimilation.
malaxation (n.)
"softening," 1650s, from Late Latin malaxationem (nominative malaxatio), noun of action from past participle stem of malaxare "to soften, mollify," from Greek malassein "to make soft," related to malakos "soft," from PIE root *mel- (1) "soft."
Malay (n.)
1590s, from native (Austronesian) name Malayu. As an adjective from 1779; earlier adjective form was Malayan (1660s).
Malayalam
1837, Dravidian language of Malabar, from Dravidian Malayali, from mala "mountain" + al "possess."
Malaysia
from Malay + Latinate ending -sia. Originally an early 19c. British geographers' name for the Indonesian archipelago. Related: Malaysian.
Malcolm
masc. proper name, from Old Irish Máel Coluim "servant of (St.) Columba," from máel "servant," etymologically "bald, shorn, hornless," from PIE base *mai- (1) "to cut" (see maim).
malcontent
1580s, noun and adjective, from French malcontent; see mal- + content (adj.). Related: Malcontented; malcontentedly; malcontentedness.
maldistribution (n.)
also mal-distribution, 1824, from mal- + distribution.
Maldives
probably from Sanskrit maladvipa "garland of islands," from mala "garland" + dvipa "island." Related: Maldivian.
male (n.)
late 14c., "male human being; male fish or land animal," from Old French masle (adj.) "masculine, male, adult," also used as a noun (12c., Modern French mâle), from Latin masculus "masculine, male, worthy of a man" (source also of Provençal mascle, Spanish macho, Italian maschio), diminutive of mas (genitive maris) "male person or animal, male."
male (adj.)
late 14c., from Old French male, masle "male, masculine; a male" (see male (n.)). Mechanical sense of "part of an instrument that penetrates another part" is from 1660s.
male chauvinism (n.)
1969; see chauvinism.
male chauvinist (adj.)
by 1936; popular from 1969 (with added pig (n.) by 1970), a specialized use of chauvinism, which in late 19c. international Communist Party jargon was extended to racism and in the next generation to sexism:
In this era, inspired by the CP's struggle against racism, women in the CP coined the term male chauvinism, in a parallel with white chauvinism, to derogate the conviction of men that they were better than women. [Jane Mansbridge and Katherine Flaster, "Male Chauvinist, Feminist, and Sexual Harassment, Different Trajectories in Feminist Linguistic Innovation," "American Speech," vol. lxxx, no. 3, Fall 2005]
malediction (n.)
mid-15c., from Old French maledicion "a curse" (15c.), from Latin maledictionem (nominative maledictio) "the action of speaking evil of, slander," in Late Latin "a curse," noun of action from past participle stem of maledicere "to speak badly or evil of, slander," from male "badly" (see mal-) + dicere "to say" (from PIE root *deik- "to show," also "pronounce solemnly").
maledictory (adj.)
1822, from Latin maledictus (from maledicere; see malediction) + -ory.
maleducation (n.)
also mal-education, 1840, from mal- + education.
malefaction (n.)
early 15c., from Medieval Latin malefactionem (nominative malefactio), noun of action from past participle stem of malefacere "to do wrong, harm" (see malefactor).
malefactor (n.)
mid-15c., from Latin malefactor, agent noun from past participle stem of malefacere "to do evil," from male "badly" (see mal-) + facere "to do, make" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put").
malefic (adj.)
1650s, from Latin maleficus "wicked, vicious, criminal," from male "ill" (see mal-) + -ficus "making, doing," from combining form of facere "to make, do" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put").
maleficence (n.)
1590s, from Middle French maleficence or directly from Latin maleficentia "evildoing, mischievousness, injury," from maleficus "wicked" (see malefic). Now largely displaced by malfeasance.
maleficent (adj.)
1670s, from Latin maleficent-, altered stem of maleficus (see malefic).
maleness (n.)
1660s, from male (adj.) + -ness.
malevolence (n.)
mid-15c., from Middle French malevolence and directly from Latin malevolentia "ill-will, dislike, hatred," from malevolentem (nominative malevolens) "malevolent" (see malevolent).
malevolent (adj.)
c. 1500, from Middle French malivolent and directly from Latin malevolentem (nominative malevolens) "ill-disposed, spiteful, envious," from male "badly" (see mal-) + volentem (nominative volens), present participle of velle "to wish" (see will (v.)). Related: Malevolently.
malfeasance (n.)
1690s, from French malfaisance "wrongdoing," from malfaisant, from mal- "badly" (see mal-) + faisant, present participle of faire "to do," from Latin facere "to do" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put"). Malfeasor "wrong-doer" is attested from early 14c. Related: Malfeasant.