nefarious was our Word of the Day on 09/20/2016. Hear the podcast!
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
Hudson St.] was sort of a nefarious spot, a wise-guy hangout.
Reports have zinged around the Internet this week about a sudden and mysterious surge in President Donald Trump's Twitter following, along with dark musings that something nefarious may be afoot.
More than anything, enjoying the show means suspending disbelief about the Underwoods’ nefarious calculations.
The nefarious nature of the programs went unnoticed in large part, according to Checkpoint, because its malware payload was downloaded from a non-Google server after the programs were installed.
People who are trying to turn that into some nefarious deed is craziness.
In that soap-operatic world, nefarious doings come with the territory.
Interstate '76 takes place in an alternate-universe version of The Year of Our Bell Bottoms, where a gang of auto mercenaries are trying to destroy the largest oil reserve in the US and leave the country at the mercy of nefarious OPEC bosses.
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.
Origin and Etymology of nefarious
Latin nefarius, from nefas crime, from ne- not + fas right, divine law; perhaps akin to Greek themis law, tithenai to place — more at do
First Known Use: circa 1609
Synonym Discussion of nefarious
NEFARIOUS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of nefarious for English Language Learners
: evil or immoral
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