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I know of words such as 'malign' but I am specifically looking for a word that not only expresses evilness/violence but also an enjoyment/choice to do such 'activity', as oppose to someone who does it because they are ordered to or because they 'have to' for survival for example.

Example: The way John handled himself with Jack, he was clearly ______ .

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You could use malevolent, malicious, sadistic, or vixenish.

Malicious or sadistic would probably fit your scenario best.

While all four words imply evil/violent, malicious and sadistic both mean taking pleasure in such acts.

Although, the other two words are still good options depending on the context of the sentence.

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Is "malicious" the word you want?

From Cambridge dictionary "intended to harm or upset other people".

Note here that harm is stated to be the intent and not stated to be a by-product. Note also that there are expressions such as "malicious smile" where a smile is normally presumed to indicate enjoyment. These suggest to me that the word implies a choice to do the actions and possibly implies enjoyment of them.

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You might want to check mischievous (Collins) as well:

causing or showing a fondness for causing trouble in a playful way.

Impish also describes well the connotation you are looking for.

Merriam-Webster has nice examples with this word.

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  • impish/ mischievous and violence? No! These are used for innocuous pranks. – user405662 Dec 18 '20 at 14:46
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While often used with a sexual connotation, sadism doesn't have to be sexual.

Sadism is a type of behavior in which a person obtains pleasure from hurting other people and making them suffer physically or mentally.

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