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

The Gewandhaus players lacked the fiendish exactitude of their Berlin colleagues, but the performance took on human complexity as a result. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, "Kirill Petrenko’s Unadventurous Début at the Berlin Philharmonic," 9 Sep. 2019 In Florida, fiendish clowns were spotted lurking by the side of the road. Frank T. Mcandrew, Quartzy, "The psychology behind why we find clowns so creepy," 6 Sep. 2019 In Florida, fiendish clowns were spotted lurking by the side of the road. Frank T. Mcandrew, CNN, "Why clowns like Pennywise from 'IT Chapter 2' give us the creeps," 6 Sep. 2019 In any case, the financial-services industry—which came up with endowment mortgages and fiendish interest-rate hedges as well as PPI—will surely supply another outrage eventually, if on a less spectacular scale. The Economist, "PPI was a bonanza—for banks, and then for consumers," 29 Aug. 2019 Preventing data breaches is a fiendish game of cat-and-mouse. The Economist, "The Exxon Valdez of cyberspace," 8 Aug. 2019 In order to find the ultimate prize, Wade has to solve a series of fiendish puzzles. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "15+ Young Adult Audiobooks For When You Want To Give Music a Break," 18 June 2019 Tough Mudder events are endurance races with obstacles that include wall climbs, muddy crawls in tight spaces, electrical shocks, rope swings, hanging challenges and other features some might consider fiendish but Tough Mudders seem to enjoy. John Meyer, The Know, "Tough Mudder opens a bootcamp gym in Denver, one of 4 in the nation," 8 June 2019 As viewers across the US watched the contestants spell out increasingly fiendish words, Merriam-Webster, the dictionary, saw an uptick in obscure words being searched on its website. Mary Hui, Quartz, "Karmadharaya, thymele, and tjaele: Words from the Spelling Bee’s 8-way-tie finish," 31 May 2019

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

17 Sep 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).


suitable to be imparted to the public

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