Definitions

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

  • adj. Of, concerning, or characteristic of the devil; satanic.
  • adj. Appropriate to a devil, especially in degree of wickedness or cruelty.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Extremely wicked or cruel.
  • adj. Of or concerning the devil; satanic.

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

  • adj. showing the cunning or ingenuity or wickedness typical of a devil
  • adj. extremely evil or cruel; expressive of cruelty or befitting hell

Etymologies

From Middle English deabolik, from Old French diabolique, from Late Latin diabolicus, from Latin diabolus, devil; see devil.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
First attested between 1350 and 1400 from Middle English diabolik, from Middle French diabolique, from Late Latin diabolicus, from Ancient Greek διαβολ-ικός (diabolikos, "devilish"), from διάβολος (diabolos). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I think I ` d use the word diabolical to describe the way she lies.

    CNN Transcript Nov 28, 2008

  • It is -- well, I came near to using the word diabolical -- to keep them in ignorance.

    The Hollow of Her Hand

  • Restaurant launch puts my family feud in the past, says Ramsay Gordon Ramsay pledges to put the 'baggage' of his feud with his father-in-law behind him at the launch of his new London restaurant Amanda Knox 'is a diabolical she-devil' Amanda Knox was subjected to a fierce character assassination as she was described as a 'diabolical, satanic, demonic she-devil,' by a...

    Evening Standard - Home

  • Pacelli's closing arguments were nearly identitical to those in 2009 when Knox was convicted of murder - he called her diabolical she-devil who was dirty on the outside, and on the inside.

    Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Local News

  • Knox has been described as "diabolical," a "witch" and a "she-devil" during three days of a court hearing into an appeal against verdicts that found her and Sollecito guilty of murdering Meredith Kercher in 2007 during a sex game gone wrong.

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • Amanda Knox 'is a diabolical she-devil' Amanda Knox was subjected to a fierce character assassination as she was described as a 'diabolical, satanic, demonic she-devil,' by a...

    Evening Standard - Home

  • As to his parsimony, which you wickedly call diabolical, [a very free word in your mouth, let me tell ye], little reason have you of all people for this, on whom he proposes, of his own accord, to settle all he has in the world: a proof, let him love riches as he will, that he loves you better.

    Clarissa Harlowe

  • There's something I can only call diabolical about this.

    Archive 2006-01-01

  • You know how much mischief Las Casas has done by allowing his feelings to interfere when the Spaniards roasted Indians, from what he chose to call diabolical lust of gold, and sheer, abstract cruelty.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 03, No. 17, March, 1859

  • Between the idea of diabolical preparation and the impulse which leads to the bloody execution of his plan does this remote and charming picture pass in the mind of the murderer.

    Dostoievsky's Mystical Terror

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