a wicked grin

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Samee Ul Haq

"She wore a wicked grin after the victory."

Is it said in the sense that she had a hidden ulterior motive: malice before thought?
  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    Where did you see this line? Who says it?

    In some dialects of American English, this "wicked" is emphatic. So "a wicked grin" means "a big grin". It is not malicious.

    Everywhere else, "wicked" implies malice.

    So the meaning depends on who says it.


    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I think it has a third meaning, too. It means mischievous. Being mischievous isn't being evil but it does mean having a certain attitude.

    In a sentence like this it would sort of be a form of teasing/gloating. "Ha! Ha! I won and you couldn't stop me!" It could be very good-natured and still be a wicked grin. Definition 2.

    wick•ed /ˈwɪkɪd/ adj.
    1. morally bad; sinful;
      evil: a wicked witch.
    2. playfully mischievous.
    3. harmful;
      dangerous: wicked, twisting roads.
    4. unpleasant;
      foul: a wicked odor.
    5. Slang Terms wonderful;
      great: has a wicked tennis serve.
    Now does she look evil?
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I would say it meant that she had a "game plan" or an agenda that was being fulfilled.

    Note: The phrase is "malice aforethought", and it generally applies to homicides. It is a legal term and I believe it is misapplied in this instance.

    Malice Aforethought

    Malice Aforethought

    The state of mind necessary to prove first-degree murder. The prosecution must prove that the defendant intended to cause death or great bodily harm, or exhibited extreme and reckless indifference to the value of life. Any intentional killing that does not involve justification, excuse, or mitigation is a killing with malice aforethought.
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