1

evil

play
adjective \ˈē-vəl, British often and US sometimes ˈē-(ˌ)vil\

Definition of evil

eviler

or

eviller

;

evilest

or

evillest

  1. 1a :  morally reprehensible :  sinful, wicked <an evil impulse>b :  arising from actual or imputed bad character or conduct <a person of evil reputation>

  2. 2a archaic :  inferiorb :  causing discomfort or repulsion :  offensive <an evil odor>c :  disagreeable <woke late and in an evil temper>

  3. 3a :  causing harm :  pernicious <the evil institution of slavery>b :  marked by misfortune :  unlucky

evil

adverb, archaic

evilly

play \ˈē-və(l)-lē, British often and US sometimes ˈē-(ˌ)vi(l)-\ adverb

evilness

play \ˈē-vəl-nəs, British often and US sometimes ˈē-(ˌ)vil-\ noun

Examples of evil in a sentence

  1. She drank an evil potion.

  2. The city has fallen on evil days.

  3. It was an evil omen.

Origin and Etymology of evil

Middle English, from Old English yfel; akin to Old High German ubil evil


First Known Use: before 12th century


2

evil

noun

Definition of evil

  1. 1a :  the fact of suffering, misfortune, and wrongdoingb :  a cosmic evil force

  2. 2 :  something that brings sorrow, distress, or calamity

Examples of evil in a sentence

  1. the battle of good versus evil

  2. <our free will allows us to choose between good and evil>

Before 12th Century

First Known Use of evil

before 12th century



EVIL Defined for English Language Learners

1

evil

play
adjective \ˈē-vəl, British often and US sometimes ˈē-(ˌ)vil\

Definition of evil for English Language Learners

  • : morally bad

  • : causing harm or injury to someone

  • : marked by bad luck or bad events


2

evil

noun

Definition of evil for English Language Learners

  • : the force of things that are morally bad

  • : something that is harmful or bad


EVIL Defined for Kids

1

evil

play
adjective \ˈē-vəl\

Definition of evil for Students

  1. 1 :  morally bad :  wicked <an evil influence>

  2. 2 :  causing harm :  tending to injure <an evil spell>

Headscratcher for evil

Evil and “vile” are spelled using the same letters and also have similar meanings. They can both be used to describe something or someone wicked.


2

evil

play
noun

Definition of evil for Students

  1. 1 :  something that brings sorrow, trouble, or destruction <the evils of poverty>

  2. 2 :  the fact of suffering or wrongdoing <We must rid the world of evil.>

  3. 3 :  bad behavior or moral state :  wickedness <… Mr. Lapham had discovered the evil that had gone on in his absence … — Esther Forbes, Johnny Tremain>



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up evil? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

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