hate·​ful | \ˈhāt-fəl \

Definition of hateful 

1 : full of hate : malicious

2 : deserving of or arousing hate

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from hateful

hatefully \ˈhāt-​fə-​lē \ adverb
hatefulness noun

Examples of hateful in a Sentence

the girl's classmates were bullying her online, sending her hateful e-mails and text messages

Recent Examples on the Web

As a member of the Cyberbullying Taskforce, Prince William called out how social media platforms, created as a means to connect with other people, can be used to spread misinformation or hateful speech. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince William Calls Out Social Media Companies for Not Doing Enough to End Cyberbullying," 15 Nov. 2018 Will Massachusetts, with its history of progressive politics, turn its back on this hateful legislation? Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "The Midterm Elections Are Almost Here—What You Need to Know Now," 5 Nov. 2018 The company may have a definition for hate speech and types of hateful content, but its decision to allow conspiracy-theory content to live on its platform frustrates many users. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Alex Jones hit with bans from Facebook and Apple," 6 Aug. 2018 The policy's hate content provision, under which songs or artists whose music includes hateful content would be removed from the service, will still be in effect. Dan Rys, Billboard, "Spotify Removes 'Hate Conduct' Provision From New Content Policy After Backlash," 1 June 2018 But many people took the language used as being hateful, creating the opposite reaction desired by the poem’s author. Steve Lord, Aurora Beacon-News, "In Aurora, a library display and City Council remark put spotlight on freedom of speech," 21 May 2018 Youth, in this case, is not an excuse for using hateful language, even if meant in jest. Jared Diamond, WSJ, "Baseball Tries to Clean Up After Social-Media Fouls," 21 Aug. 2018 Last October, Twitter user @blck_goddess posted more screenshots showing some of the hateful language that certain users who claim to be fans have used. Gabe Bergado, Teen Vogue, "Dolan Twins Fans Are Addressing a Huge Race Problem on Social Media," 12 Jan. 2018 Viewers spreading hateful content on Gab are able to find like-minded sympathizers, plan events and share propaganda with the expectation that their posts will go unchallenged, Mr. Segal said. Georgia Wells, WSJ, "Gab to Rein In Calls for Violence While Allowing Hate Speech," 9 Nov. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of hateful

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hateful

Middle English, from hate hate entry 1 + -ful -ful entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about hateful

Dictionary Entries near hateful



hate crime



hate mail


Statistics for hateful

Last Updated

13 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hateful

The first known use of hateful was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for hateful



English Language Learners Definition of hateful

: very bad or evil : causing or deserving hate

: full of hate : showing hate


hate·​ful | \ˈhāt-fəl \

Kids Definition of hateful

1 : full of hate “Then you get her out of here,” he said with hateful force.— Mildred D. Taylor, Roll of Thunder

2 : very bad or evil : causing or deserving hate a hateful crime

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on hateful

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hateful

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hateful

Spanish Central: Translation of hateful

Nglish: Translation of hateful for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hateful for Arabic Speakers

Comments on hateful

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


a nest or breeding place

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!