\ ˈvī(-ə)l How to pronounce vile (audio) \
viler\ ˈvī-​lər How to pronounce viler (audio) \; vilest\ ˈvī-​ləst How to pronounce vilest (audio) \

Definition of vile

1a : morally despicable or abhorrent nothing is so vile as intellectual dishonesty
b : physically repulsive : foul a vile slum
2 : of little worth or account : common also : mean
3 : tending to degrade vile employments
4 : disgustingly or utterly bad : obnoxious, contemptible vile weather had a vile temper

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Other Words from vile

vilely \ ˈvī(-​ə)l-​lē How to pronounce vilely (audio) \ adverb
vileness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for vile

base, low, vile mean deserving of contempt because of the absence of higher values. base stresses the ignoble and may suggest cruelty, treachery, greed, or grossness. base motives low may connote crafty cunning, vulgarity, or immorality and regularly implies an outraging of one's sense of decency or propriety. refused to listen to such low talk vile, the strongest of these words, tends to suggest disgusting depravity or filth. a vile remark

Examples of vile in a Sentence

a vile and cowardly act What is that vile odor? His comments were positively vile. She has a vile temper.
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Recent Examples on the Web And my administration is also addressing the vile acts of mass violence. chicagotribune.com, "Read the official transcript of President Trump’s remarks at the International Association of Chiefs of Police convention in Chicago," 28 Oct. 2019 Exotic became a huge target for Baskin, who saw his operations as vile and cruel. Gina Vaynshteyn, refinery29.com, "Carole Baskin Responded To Netflix’s Tiger King — She’s Not Happy," 27 Mar. 2020 Let everything in and your service would be quickly swamped with the worst, most vile forms of expression. David French, Time, "The Growing Threat to Free Speech Online," 24 Jan. 2020 These vile little arachnids produce a protein venom that affects the victim's nervous system. Tim Macwelch, Outdoor Life, "The 10 Most Dangerous Spiders in the World," 11 Nov. 2019 But the mayhem — physical fights, bullying, chaotic hallways and vile language — shows that’s clearly not the case. Heather Knight, SFChronicle.com, "‘Lord of the Flies’: Fights, bullying, chaos upend once-stellar San Francisco middle school," 14 Feb. 2020 As expected, Weinstein chose not to testify, avoiding the risk of having prosecutors grill him on cross-examination about the vile allegations. Michael R. Sisak, Anchorage Daily News, "Weinstein doesn’t testify in his rape trial as defense rests," 11 Feb. 2020 But, because such powerful new technology requires a ton of risk to attempt, none of this would have been developed without an adversary as vile as cancer to require it. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "Health," 1 Feb. 2020 Past presidential candidates would openly condemn such vile viral messages for degrading our electoral process. Clarence Page, chicagotribune.com, "Column: How toxic should we let political speech get? ‘Meme wars’ take new ground as fake Donald Trump shoots rivals in violent parody," 15 Oct. 2019

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

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First Known Use of vile

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for vile

Middle English, from Anglo-French vil, from Latin vilis

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Time Traveler for vile

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for vile

Last Updated

19 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Vile.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vile. Accessed 1 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for vile

How to pronounce vile (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of vile

: evil or immoral
: very bad or unpleasant
\ ˈvīl How to pronounce vile (audio) \
viler; vilest

Kids Definition of vile

1 : wicked sense 1 a vile deed
2 : very bad or unpleasant a vile smell

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More from Merriam-Webster on vile

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for vile

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with vile

Spanish Central: Translation of vile

Nglish: Translation of vile for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vile for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about vile

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