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 public announcement created the perception that the bureau strongly suspected that a nefarious, overarching Trump–Russia conspiracy was afoot.
The dyadic version has no nefarious third party, just an us-and-them world where a corrupt capitalist political caste has betrayed the proletariat for its own benefit.
In its more nefarious form, however, Neptune also oversees illusion and escapism.
The gang is undeniably violent, but its presence in the U.S. can’t be attributed to some nefarious immigration wave.
Her body was later found in the water off Catalina Island, and at the time, Wood's death was ruled an accidental drowning, though rumors that something more nefarious happened continued to persist.
But the same cheap and effective persuasion machine is also available to anyone with nefarious ends.
ReleaseTheMemo is the battle cry for legions of MAGA types for whom the sudden, miraculous appearance of a secret document that exposes a nefarious and unjustified Deep State plot to dethrone their hero would tidily resolve their angst all at once.
McCabe's defenders in law enforcement say that there was nothing nefarious going on - officials were pursuing a careful process of determining whether the emails might be relevant, and that took time.
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
Seen and Heard
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