\ˈvī(-ə)l \
viler\ˈvī-​lər \; vilest\ˈvī-​ləst \

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 \ 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

My wife and daughters have faced vile and violent threats. Brett M. Kavanaugh, WSJ, "I Am an Independent, Impartial Judge," 4 Oct. 2018 The vile threats of violence against my family will not drive me out. Fox News, "Brit Hume on fallout from Kavanaugh hearing; Alan Dershowitz on Rachel Mitchell's performance," 28 Sep. 2018 The vile threats of violence against my family will not drive me out. Seung-min Kim, The Seattle Times, "Kavanaugh vows to fight misconduct allegations as Trump, Republicans dig in," 24 Sep. 2018 Although vile, the issue here is not solely about sexualizing, projecting and critiquing the desirability of a five-month-old baby, but the perpetuation of colorism. Yaminah Mayo, Glamour, "Khloé Kardashian Shouldn't Have to 'Block Out' Racist Remarks About True," 20 Sep. 2018 The move was a surprise in the sense that no one had reported on the possibility, but for those familiar with D'Souza's work -- racist memes and vile smears of President Barack Obama fill his oeuvre -- the news was something less than a shock. Gregory Krieg, CNN, "Rod Blagojevich and Martha Stewart have a weird amount in common," 31 May 2018 Some of the abuse on here this evening has been absolutely vile., "Loris Karius Apologises to Liverpool Fans After Horror Performance Against Real Madrid in UCL Final," 27 May 2018 The New Look issue is problematic but some of the comments on this BBC article are completely vile., "New Look Is Under Fire For "Fat Tax" On Plus-Size Clothes," 15 May 2018 In fact, these are the worst, most vile offenders against civility. Fox News, "Kellyanne Conway responds to Democrats' calls to abolish ICE," 3 July 2018

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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Statistics for vile

Last Updated

2 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for vile

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

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More Definitions for vile



English Language Learners Definition of vile

: evil or immoral

: very bad or unpleasant


\ˈvīl \
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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with vile

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for vile

Spanish Central: Translation of vile

Nglish: Translation of vile for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vile for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about vile

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