diabolical was our Word of the Day on 10/19/2009. Hear the podcast!
Examples of diabolical in a sentence
the police quickly mobilized to track down the diabolical serial killer
Did You Know?
Like the word devil, "diabolical" traces back to Latin diabolus, which itself descends from Greek diabolos, a word that literally means "slanderer." In English, "diabolical" has many nuances of meaning. It can describe the devil himself (as in "my diabolical visitor") or anything related to or characteristic of him in appearance, behavior, or thought; examples include "diabolical lore," "a diabolical grin," and "a diabolical plot." In British slang, "diabolical" can also mean "disgraceful" or "bad," as in "the food was diabolical."
Origin and Etymology of diabolical
Middle English deabolik, from Medieval French diabolique, from Late Latin diabolicus, from diabolus —see 1devil
First Known Use: 15th century
DIABOLICAL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of diabolical for English Language Learners
: extremely evil
: very unpleasant, bad, or annoying
DIABOLICAL Defined for Kids
Learn More about diabolical
Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for diabolical
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up diabolical? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).