vile

adjective
\ 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

The Economist: Using your methods, won’t empathy simply develop in those who are prone to be empathetic anyway—leaving the most vile people unaffected and the world unimproved: a snowflake of kindness amid a blizzard of misanthropy? K.n.c., The Economist, "How to increase empathy and unite society," 7 June 2019 And Samantha Bee's situation is her language vile, absolutely. Fox News, "Roseanne critics target Trump," 4 June 2018 The language used by Samantha Bee last night is vile and vicious. Jodi Guglielmi, PEOPLE.com, "Samantha Bee Will Address Calling Ivanka Trump the C-Word on Upcoming Full Frontal Episode," 4 June 2018 There is an epidemic of missing and murdered Native women on the North American continent, and their continued dehumanization is vile. Ruth Hopkins, Teen Vogue, "Sacagawea Changed the Course of History and Deserves Respect," 11 Jan. 2019 These vile and absolutely unacceptable acts cannot continue. Kim Christensen, latimes.com, "New blackface incident at Cal Poly prompts calls for state investigation," 5 May 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 Within hours, Tay began spitting out her own vile lines on Twitter, in full public view. Jonathan Vanian, Fortune, "Unmasking A.I.'s Bias Problem," 25 June 2018 There's a bunch of freakishly healthy moms at my daughter's school who show up in workout gear swigging vile green liquids at morning drop-off. Aarti Sanan, Redbook, "Wedding Dress Challenge: Clean, Green, Juicing Machine," 20 Apr. 2012

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

17 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for vile

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

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More Definitions for vile

vile

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of vile

: evil or immoral
: very bad or unpleasant

vile

adjective
\ 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

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

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about vile

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