vilify

verb
vil·​i·​fy | \ ˈvi-lə-ˌfī How to pronounce vilify (audio) \
vilified; vilifying

Definition of vilify

transitive verb

1 : to utter slanderous and abusive statements against : defame
2 : to lower in estimation or importance

Other Words from vilify

vilifier \ ˈvi-​lə-​ˌfī(-​ə)r How to pronounce vilify (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for vilify

malign, traduce, asperse, vilify, calumniate, defame, slander mean to injure by speaking ill of. malign suggests specific and often subtle misrepresentation but may not always imply deliberate lying. the most maligned monarch in British history traduce stresses the resulting ignominy and distress to the victim. so traduced the governor that he was driven from office asperse implies continued attack on a reputation often by indirect or insinuated detraction. both candidates aspersed the other's motives vilify implies attempting to destroy a reputation by open and direct abuse. no criminal was more vilified in the press calumniate imputes malice to the speaker and falsity to the assertions. falsely calumniated as a traitor defame stresses the actual loss of or injury to one's good name. sued them for defaming her reputation slander stresses the suffering of the victim. town gossips slandered their good name

Did you know?

Vilify came to English by way of the Middle English vilifien and the Late Latin vilificare, from the Latin adjective vilis, meaning "cheap" or "vile." It first appeared in English in the 15th century. Also debuting during that time was another verb that derives from vilis and has a similar meaning: vilipend. When they were first used in English, both vilify and vilipend meant to regard someone or something as being of little worth or importance. Vilipend now carries an additional meaning of "to express a low opinion of somebody," while vilify means, more specifically, to express such an opinion publicly in a way that intends to embarrass a person or ruin his or her reputation.

Examples of vilify in a Sentence

He was vilified in the press for his comments. claimed that she had been vilified by the press because of her conservative views
Recent Examples on the Web The meeting comes days after Chevron CEO Mike Wirth accused Biden of seeking to vilify oil and gas producers. Matt Egan, CNN, 23 June 2022 With the rush toward elections, the Arab community in Israel is bracing for a Netanyahu campaign that will vilify Arabs, said Yousef Jabareen, a former Knesset member with the Palestinian Israeli left-wing Hadash party. Shira Rubin, Washington Post, 21 June 2022 Black slavery started in the early 1500s and as long as slavery was accepted by most people, there was no need to vilify the slave. San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 May 2022 Those who believe in democratization in higher education vilify it, while those who believe in differentiation applaud it. WSJ, 7 Apr. 2022 The Russian leader, for his part, has gone out of his way to vilify those who have left, likening them to gnat-like insects. Vasiliy Kolotilov, Los Angeles Times, 1 Apr. 2022 The Nazis and Adolf Hitler have proven convenient symbols for people wishing to vilify their political opponents, from Donald Trump to Nelson Mandela. Zachary Snowdon Smith, Forbes, 27 Jan. 2022 That means the political class has to back the police, not vilify them. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, 5 Feb. 2022 In a delicate dance that seems designed to appease both the right and left, Macron has refused to vilify French imperialists, most notably Napoleon, but has recognized their wrongdoing. Saphora Smith, NBC News, 25 Dec. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of vilify

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for vilify

Middle English vilifien, from Late Latin vilificare, from Latin vilis cheap, vile

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The first known use of vilify was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near vilify

vilification

vilify

vilifyingly

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Last Updated

27 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Vilify.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vilify. Accessed 1 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for vilify

vilify

verb
vil·​i·​fy | \ ˈvi-lə-ˌfī How to pronounce vilify (audio) \
vilified; vilifying

Kids Definition of vilify

: to speak of harshly and often unfairly The newspaper vilified him for his opinions.

More from Merriam-Webster on vilify

Nglish: Translation of vilify for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vilify for Arabic Speakers

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