Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To assail with abusive language; vituperate. See Synonyms at scold.
  • intransitive v. To use abusive language.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To attack (someone) with abusive language.
  • n. reproach; reviling

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Reproach; reviling.
  • v. To address or abuse with opprobrious and contemptuous language; to reproach.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To cast reproach upon; vilify; especially, to use contemptuous or opprobrious language to; abuse; asperse.
  • Synonyms To vilify, abuse, malign, lampoon, defame. (See asperse.) The distinction of revile from these words is that it always applies to persons, is generally unjust and always improper, generally applies to what is said to or before the person affected, and makes him seem to others vile or worthless.
  • To act or speak abusively.
  • n. Revilement; abusive treatment or language; an insult; a reproach.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. spread negative information about

Etymologies

Middle English revilen, from Old French reviler : re-, re- + vil, vile; see vile.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English revilen, from re + Old French aviler ("to make vile or cheap, disprize, disesteem"), from a- ("to") + vil ("vile, cheap"); see vile. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • The bone commenced to revile the fox. "You coward!" it sneered. "You odoriferous wretch!"

    - William Steig, The Amazing Bone

    September 29, 2008