fiend·​ish | \ ˈfēn-dish How to pronounce fiendish (audio) \

Definition of fiendish

1 : perversely diabolical took a fiendish pleasure in hurting people
2 : extremely cruel or wicked
3 : excessively bad, unpleasant, or difficult fiendish weather

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Other Words from fiendish

fiendishly adverb
fiendishness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for fiendish


cacodemonic, demoniac (also demoniacal), demonian, demonic (also demonical), devilish, diabolical (or diabolic), Luciferian, satanic


angelic (or angelical)

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Examples of fiendish in a Sentence

He takes a fiendish delight in hurting people. a fiendish delight in playing cruel tricks

Recent Examples on the Web

But don’t worry, they can be bought individually ($3), in flights of four ($11) or by the dozen ($30) for more fiendish eating. Josie Sexton, The Know, "10 frozen treats to try around Denver this summer," 3 June 2019 Balasaheb Chouhan, a smallholder in Puntamba, says the paperwork for selling to the state is fiendish, and then typically there are week-long queues of farmers waiting to unload their goods, followed by weeks more of waiting to be paid. The Economist, "India’s government claims to subsidise farmers, but actually hurts them," 12 July 2018 By wasting no time making Viard’s new role official, Chanel put a quick end to the fiendish guessing game of who’s on next that fashion routinely delights in. Jessica Iredale, Town & Country, "Virginie Viard, Karl Lagerfeld's Secret Weapon, Succeeds Him at Chanel," 19 Feb. 2019 And while the new agreements are hardly revolutionary, many Americans not familiar with the fiendish complexity of trade negotiations will take the USMCA as a sign that Mr. Trump’s aggressive methods work. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "Trump’s Instincts Triumph on Trade," 1 Oct. 2018 Crazy Rich Asians, while satirizing the gaudiness of some characters and the outright fiendish behavior of others, presents Eleanor and the Young family’s wealth as something earned. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "Crazy Rich Asians’ crazy rich success could mean more stories about less crazy rich Asian-American people.," 21 Dec. 2018 This is one scenario for hurricanes in a warmer world, a subject of fiendish complexity and considerable scientific research, as experts try to tease out the effects of climate change from the influences of natural climate cycles. David Fleshler,, "The world has never seen a Category 6 hurricane. But the day may be coming," 7 July 2018 Let it not be said that there is any less vigor and determination back of the pursuit of the Gordon girl’s fiendish slayer than there would have been had the little victim been white. Hadley Meares, Los Angeles Magazine, "One of the “Tragic Mysteries in Local History” Has Been All But Forgotten," 7 June 2018 Yet fiendish institutional and legal problems over security abound, and there is little time left to surmount them. The Economist, "A row over data privacy may upset Britain’s security relations with the EU," 3 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fiendish.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of fiendish

1529, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near fiendish


field yam-root






Statistics for fiendish

Last Updated

11 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for fiendish

The first known use of fiendish was in 1529

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English Language Learners Definition of fiendish

: very evil or cruel
: extremely bad, unpleasant, or difficult

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More from Merriam-Webster on fiendish

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fiendish

Spanish Central: Translation of fiendish

Nglish: Translation of fiendish for Spanish Speakers

Comments on fiendish

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


behavior toward others

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