re·​vile ri-ˈvī(-ə)l How to pronounce revile (audio)
reviled; reviling

transitive verb

: to subject to verbal abuse : vituperate

intransitive verb

: to use abusive language : rail
revilement noun
reviler noun
Choose the Right Synonym for revile

scold, upbraid, berate, rail, revile, vituperate mean to reproach angrily and abusively.

scold implies rebuking in irritation or ill temper justly or unjustly.

angrily scolding the children

upbraid implies censuring on definite and usually justifiable grounds.

upbraided her assistants for poor research

berate suggests prolonged and often abusive scolding.

berated continually by an overbearing boss

rail (at or against) stresses an unrestrained berating.

railed loudly at their insolence

revile implies a scurrilous, abusive attack prompted by anger or hatred.

an alleged killer reviled in the press

vituperate suggests a violent reviling.

was vituperated for betraying his friends

Examples of revile in a Sentence

Many people reviled him for his callous behavior.
Recent Examples on the Web The most powerful secretary of state of the postwar era, he was both celebrated and reviled. David E. Sanger, New York Times, 30 Nov. 2023 Yet Kissinger was reviled by many Americans for his conduct of wartime diplomacy. Nancy Benac, Fortune, 30 Nov. 2023 Long before the Hamas attacks, his far-right coalition government, formed in late December 2022, was widely reviled. Dahlia Scheindlin, Foreign Affairs, 29 Nov. 2023 The birds are widely reviled for their carrion-eating ways. Natalie Angier, New York Times, 12 Nov. 2023 Meanwhile, Biden has essentially implemented some of the same border policies of former President Donald Trump that were once reviled by Democrats. Michael Smolens, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Nov. 2023 These possibilities have been long reviled by local environmental groups and some residents, especially after the catastrophic 2015 spill, which continues to loom large in the region. Grace Toohey, Los Angeles Times, 31 Oct. 2023 The harassment only got worse as Magana began to develop a taste for bands like Van Halen and Kiss, whose music and fashion were reviled in his rap-obsessed neighborhood. WIRED, 19 Oct. 2023 But the election was, like others in Ecuador’s recent history, a referendum on former president Correa, a popular but controversial figure — convicted of corruption — who is praised for combating inequality but reviled for his authoritarian tendencies. Samantha Schmidt, Washington Post, 15 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'revile.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, from Anglo-French reviler to despise, from re- + vil vile

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of revile was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near revile

Cite this Entry

“Revile.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


re·​vile ri-ˈvī(ə)l How to pronounce revile (audio)
reviled; reviling
: to speak to or about in an insulting way
revilement noun
reviler noun
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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