Definitions

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

  • adj. Morally bad or wrong; wicked: an evil tyrant.
  • adj. Causing ruin, injury, or pain; harmful: the evil effects of a poor diet.
  • adj. Characterized by or indicating future misfortune; ominous: evil omens.
  • adj. Bad or blameworthy by report; infamous: an evil reputation.
  • adj. Characterized by anger or spite; malicious: an evil temper.
  • n. The quality of being morally bad or wrong; wickedness.
  • n. That which causes harm, misfortune, or destruction: a leader's power to do both good and evil.
  • n. An evil force, power, or personification.
  • n. Something that is a cause or source of suffering, injury, or destruction: the social evils of poverty and injustice.
  • adv. Archaic In an evil manner.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Intending to harm; malevolent.
  • adj. Morally corrupt.
  • adj. Unpleasant.
  • adj. undesirable; harmful; bad practice
  • n. The forces/behaviors that are the opposite or enemy of good. Evil generally seeks own benefit at the expense of others and is based on general malevolence.
  • n. Any particular individual or state which may follow these forces or behaviors.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Having qualities tending to injury and mischief; having a nature or properties which tend to badness; mischievous; not good; worthless or deleterious; poor
  • adj. Having or exhibiting bad moral qualities; morally corrupt; wicked; wrong; vicious.
  • adj. Producing or threatening sorrow, distress, injury, or calamity; unpropitious; calamitous
  • n. Anything which impairs the happiness of a being or deprives a being of any good; anything which causes suffering of any kind to sentient beings; injury; mischief; harm; -- opposed to good.
  • n. Moral badness, or the deviation of a moral being from the principles of virtue imposed by conscience, or by the will of the Supreme Being, or by the principles of a lawful human authority; disposition to do wrong; moral offence; wickedness; depravity.
  • n. malady or disease; especially in the phrase king's evil, the scrofula.
  • adv. In an evil manner; not well; ill; badly; unhappily; injuriously; unkindly.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • compar. usually worse, superl. worst (see bad), or more evil, most evil (rarely eviler, evilest).
  • Having harmful qualities or characteristics; productive of or attended by harm or injury; hurtful to the body, mind, or feelings; effecting mischief, trouble, or pain; bad: as, an evil genius; evil laws.
  • Proceeding from a desire to injure; hostile.
  • Contrary to an accepted standard of right or righteousness; inconsistent with or violating the moral law; bad; sinful; wicked: as, evil deeds; an evil heart.
  • Proceeding from, due to, or purporting to be due to immorality or badness of conduct or character.
  • 3 and Bad, vile, base, vicious, wicked, iniquitous.
  • n. Anything that causes injury, as to the body, mind, or feelings; anything that harms or is likely to harm.
  • n. A malady or disease: as, the king's evil (which see, below).
  • n. Conduct contrary to the standard of morals or righteousness, or a disposition toward such conduct; violation of the moral law; harmful intention or purpose.
  • n. A harmful or wrong deed.
  • Injuriously.
  • Not happily; unfortunately.
  • Not virtuously; not innocently.
  • Not well; ill.
  • To fall ill or sick.
  • n. A fork; a hayfork.
  • n. A halter.

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

  • n. morally objectionable behavior
  • n. the quality of being morally wrong in principle or practice
  • adj. having the nature of vice
  • n. that which causes harm or destruction or misfortune
  • adj. having or exerting a malignant influence
  • adj. morally bad or wrong

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English yfel.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old English yfel, from Proto-Germanic *ubilaz (compare East Frisian eeuwel, Dutch euvel, German übel), from Proto-Indo-European *h₂upélos, diminutive of *h₂wep- (“treat badly”) (compare Hittite huwappi 'to mistreat, harass', huwappa 'evil, badness')., or alternatively from *upélos (“evil”, literally "going over or beyond (acceptable limits)"), from Proto-Indo-European *upo, *up, *eup (“down, up, over”). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • haha. Compare the two pronunciations!

    November 20, 2009

  • Every Villan Is Lemons

    May 21, 2009

  • In church we pronounce it along the lines of "e vill."

    August 19, 2008

  • I feel guilty for thinking this word is incredibly sexy and has good mouthfeel. It tastes all slithery.

    August 19, 2008

  • Live in reverse.

    November 3, 2007

  • <iframe src="http://tinyurl.com/2cd93v" height="54"></iframe>

    October 22, 2007