adjective \ni-ˈfer-ē-əs\

: evil or immoral

Full Definition of NEFARIOUS

:  flagrantly wicked or impious :  evil
ne·far·i·ous·ly adverb

Examples of NEFARIOUS

  1. a nefarious scheme to cheat people out of their money
  2. <the chaste heroines and nefarious villains of old-time melodramas>
  3. Moreover, those starry-eyed states inclined to perceive international relations in moral terms frequently underestimate the nefarious machinations of their competitors on the world political stage. —Richard Wolin, New Republic, 4 June 2001


Latin nefarius, from nefas crime, from ne- not + fas right, divine law; perhaps akin to Greek themis law, tithenai to place — more at do
First Known Use: circa 1609

Related to NEFARIOUS

black, dark, evil, immoral, iniquitous, bad, rotten, sinful, unethical, unlawful, unrighteous, unsavory, vicious, vile, villainous, wicked, wrong
decent, ethical, good, honest, honorable, just, moral, right, righteous, sublime, upright, virtuous
See Synonym Discussion at vicious


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