Simple Definition of vilify
: to say or write very harsh and critical things about (someone or something)
Examples of vilify in a sentence
He was vilified in the press for his comments.
<claimed that she had been vilified by the press because of her conservative views>
Did You Know?
Vilify came to English by way of the Middle English vilifien and the Late Latin vilificare from the Latin adjective vilis, meaning "cheap" or "vile." It first appeared in English in the 15th century. Also debuting during that time was another verb that derives from vilis and has a similar meaning: vilipend. When they were first used in English, both vilify and vilipend meant to regard someone or something as being of little worth or importance. Vilipend now carries an additional meaning of "to express a low opinion of somebody," while vilify means, more specifically, to express such an opinion publicly in a way that intends to embarrass a person or ruin his or her reputation.
Origin and Etymology of vilify
Middle English vilifien, from Late Latin vilificare, from Latin vilis cheap, vile
First Known Use: 15th century
Synonym Discussion of vilify
VILIFY Defined for Kids
Definition of vilify for Students
: to speak of harshly and often unfairly <The newspaper vilified him for his opinions.>
Seen and Heard
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