Definitions

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

  • adj. Loathsome; disgusting: vile language.
  • adj. Unpleasant or objectionable: vile weather. See Synonyms at offensive.
  • adj. Contemptibly low in worth or account; second-rate.
  • adj. Of mean or low condition.
  • adj. Miserably poor and degrading; wretched: a vile existence.
  • adj. Morally depraved; ignoble or wicked: a vile conspiracy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. morally low; base; despicable

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Low; base; worthless; mean; despicable.
  • adj. Morally base or impure; depraved by sin; hateful in the sight of God and men; sinful; wicked; bad.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of small value; held in little esteem; low; base; mean; worthless; despicable.
  • Morally base or impure; depraved; bad; wicked; abject; villainous; shameful: frequently used as an epithet of opprobrium, contempt, disgust, or odium generally.
  • Synonyms Contemptible, beggarly, pitiful, scurvy, shabby.
  • Groveling, ignoble, foul, knavish.
  • n. A vile thing.
  • To mako vile.

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

  • adj. morally reprehensible
  • adj. causing or able to cause nausea

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, from Latin vīlis, cheap, worthless.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin vilis (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Hastert told reporters today that no Republican congressional leader saw what he calls vile and repulsive instant messages sent by Foley in 2003 until this past Friday.

    CNN Transcript Oct 2, 2006

  • Buttonholed while crossing the court-house lawn, and backed into a corner between the county clerk's office and the jail, Shelby had to listen with what patience he might to her denunciation of what she called his vile concord with Belial.

    The Henchman

  • Who is here playing the overseer over white men -- who but he, who is throwing his filthy gall and assailing everybody as Northern Whig Dough-faces, and what he calls the vile slave-holders?

    Lands of the Slave and the Free Cuba, the United States, and Canada

  • One ought, if possible, to have both girdle and character, and that is my object when I give myself importance by what you describe as vile arts, and poor unworthy tricks.

    Diderot and the Encyclopædists Volume II.

  • Your mom’s dead, because Charlie Matthias is a freak and a murderer and a … a … He couldn’t find a word vile enough to describe that monster’s nature.

    Rot & Ruin

  • The Blair-ian (Tony, not Eric) mechanism by which Caroline Cartwright was thrown into durance vile is an "Anti-Social Behaviour Order" or ASBO/Asbo.

    Archive 2010-01-01

  • The labor and the lives of ten thousand slaves had gone to the making of that bedchamber, while they themselves slept in vile lairs like wild beasts.

    A CURIOUS FRAGMENT

  • Watch out for spewing vile from the mushrooms who the liberal 'eletists' cultivate so well.

    Poll shows tight race for 2012 GOP nomination

  • As a fellow southerner living up in vile Yankee land I get tired of this yankee propaganda.

    Voinovich: The GOP's 'being taken over by Southerners'

  • Anyone find it weird that the person accusing Obama supporters or the "Obamabots" of being vile is nastier than anything poste by any Obama supporter?

    Exit polls: Half of Clinton's supporters won't back Obama

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