Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Idioms.


In Criminal Law, intentional, deliberate, planned, or premeditated.

Murder in the first degree, for example, requires malice aforethought; that is, the murder must have been planned for a period of time, regardless how short, before it was committed.


adjective beforehand, calculated, contrived in advance, deliberate, designed, intended, planned, planned beforehand, prearranged, preconceived, pr econsider ed, pr edeliberated, predetermined, pr eeeditated, prepared, prepense, previously in mind, purposed, purposive, reflective, studied, with forethought
Associated concepts: malice aforethought
See also: express, premeditated, premeditation



AFORETHOUGHT, crim. law. Premeditated, prepense; the length of time during which the accused has entertained the thought of committing the offence is not very material, provided he has in fact entertained such thought; he is thereby rendered criminal in a greater degree than if he had committed the offence without. premeditation. Vide Malice; aforethought; Premeditation 2 Chit. Cr. 785; 4 Bl. Com. 199; Fost. 132, 291, 292; Cro. Car. 131; Palm. 545; W. Jones, 198; 4 Dall. R. 146; 1 P. A. Bro. App. xviii.; Addis. R. 148; 1 Ashm. R. 289.

References in periodicals archive ?
Because the inhabitants of Wyvern's Cross have moral prejudices, and standards of conduct however loosely adhered to in practice, because they understand that life as it is displayed in public not only is but ought to be different from how it is lived in private, Malice Aforethought is not only a murder mystery, but a comedy of manners.
Pepe, Alvaro Arbeloa, Ricardo Carvalho and even Xabi Alonso tackled with malice aforethought.
What is so significant about these cuts is the malice and aforethought that accompanies their implementation.
In a letter to the Huffington Post, I said that I thought the article was a joke, but that I should have noticed the word 'mishap' in the article's title, when what had happened was piracy aforethought that ended with several people killed.
Second degree murder requires malice aforethought, which can be implied by the conduct of the defendant.
WILL someone please explain to Arsenal's Arsene Wenger it is possible to get injured in a football match without there being any malice aforethought in the challenge.
These findings being based on observing Gareth impersonating a Football Manager for over three years with full malice aforethought.
I think it was something done with the greatest of sincerity, but certainly not with any malice aforethought to damage or to insult.
However, planning to make such investments in the current economic climate requires aforethought, particularly as lenders will need convincing that investment strategies are wellconsidered.
Sirhan, who shouted during his 1969 murder trial that he had killed Kennedy "willfully, premeditatedly, with 20 years of malice aforethought," was convicted and sentenced to death.
WOULD the racecourse commentator who, last week, with self-promotion aforethought, rejigged the great line "Tony McCoy takes a peek between his legs and likes what he sees", please write out 100 times: "I must not plagiarise other people's (inadvertent) jokes.
She went on to train at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and has worked steadily ever since, appearing in dramas like North and South, Malice Aforethought and Sharpe's Challenge.