nefarious was our Word of the Day on 09/20/2016. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of nefarious in a Sentence
- Moreover, those starry-eyed states inclined to perceive international relations in moral terms frequently underestimate the nefarious machinations of their competitors on the world political stage. —Richard Wolin, New Republic, 4 June 2001
- … I always give the same response: Just because Frank posed for pictures with every leading capo, underboss and cement contractor of the day doesn't mean that he joined them in their nefarious underworld activities. Oh, occasionally he rode along on a hit or two, but that was just one of those social obligations … —Lewis Grossberger, Time, 21 Dec. 1998
- Three-tenths of a mile uphill from our mailbox on the road, that bend is so nefarious that neophytes often skidded into a snowbank or wound up fender-deep in mud there. —Maxine Kumin, In Deep, 1987
a nefarious scheme to cheat people out of their money
the chaste heroines and nefarious villains of old-time melodramas
Recent Examples of nefarious from the Web
The human impact of Lift’s evil is eventually revealed, but his actions in this particular moment are no more nefarious than the average clueless white tech bro.
It shouldn't be interpreted as an assumption that WKU is doing something nefarious.
The Atlantic asks how Kavanaugh paid off the debts so quickly, and that seems like a fair question—though the answer may be far from nefarious.
Thanks to the skilled investigative work of the NYPD, Clermont’s new reality is federal prosecution for her alleged nefarious conduct.
The routine led Ramirez to wonder whether children might be improperly medicated, but other employees said there was nothing nefarious going on.
Unfortunately this is a guru, tech genius, scientist who uses his wealth and power for nefarious means.
But once Armie Hammer enters the picture as the overlord of the nefarious corporation behind the telemarketing outfit, the movie loses its way in a welter of surreality.
Fireworks release nefarious particles such as soot, ash and metals into the atmosphere, and air monitors in the San Joaquin Valley have accordingly detected unsafe spikes in PM concentrations every July 4 evening, the district said.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nefarious.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
What Is the Difference Between vicious, villainous, and nefarious?
Vicious and villainous are two wicked synonyms of nefarious, and, like nefarious, both mean "highly reprehensible or offensive in character, nature, or conduct." But these synonyms are not used in exactly the same way in all situations. Vicious may imply moral depravity or it may connote malignancy, cruelty, or destructive violence. Villainous applies to any evil, depraved, or vile conduct or characteristic, while nefarious (which derives from the Latin noun nefas, meaning "crime") suggests flagrant breaching of time-honored laws and traditions of conduct.
chaste, immaculate, incorruptible, innocent, inoffensive, irreproachable, lily-white, perfect, pure, spotless, squeaky-clean, uncorrupted, unerring, unfallen, unobjectionable, venerable, white, wholesome;
Synonym Discussion of nefarious
- a vicious gangster
- a villainous assault
- an iniquitous system of taxation
- the nefarious rackets of organized crime
- city hall was rife with corrupt politicians
- a degenerate regime propped up by foreign powers
NEFARIOUS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of nefarious for English Language Learners
: evil or immoral
Seen and Heard
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