Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


or diabolical

[dahy-uh-bol-ik or dahy-uh-bol-i-kuh l] /ˌdaɪ əˈbɒl ɪk or ˌdaɪ əˈbɒl ɪ kəl/
having the qualities of a devil; devilish; fiendish; outrageously wicked:
a diabolic plot.
pertaining to or actuated by a devil.
Origin of diabolic
1350-1400; Middle English diabolik (< Middle French) < Late Latin diabolicus < Greek diabolikós, equivalent to diábol(os) devil + -ikos -ic
Related forms
diabolically, adverb
diabolicalness, noun
hyperdiabolical, adjective
hyperdiabolically, adverb
hyperdiabolicalness, noun
nondiabolic, adjective
nondiabolical, adjective
nondiabolically, adverb
nondiabolicalness, noun
superdiabolical, adjective
superdiabolically, adverb
superdiabolicalness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for diabolic
Historical Examples
  • What diabolic jugglery was at work when the exchange was made?

  • Everybody watched with wonder this play, as of some large and diabolic toy.

    Romance Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
  • The table seemed to wake to diabolic energy under her palms.

    The Shadow World

    Hamlin Garland
  • Understand, I do not say that it was not spiritual or diabolic.

  • He had charmed her from her home by the exercise of diabolic arts.

    A Black Adonis

    Linn Boyd Porter
  • No, it is a country the most diabolic this side of the ocean.

    Hurricane Island

    H. B. Marriott Watson
  • It was as if this were the final, consummate stroke of the diabolic master.

    The Creators

    May Sinclair
  • And their diabolic husbands never noticed that they had been stolen.

  • diabolic lore la Jules Dubois and other modern magi is profuse.

    Egoists James Huneker
  • Daniel felt that underneath the whole affair there was some diabolic intrigue.

    The Clique of Gold Emile Gaboriau
British Dictionary definitions for diabolic


of, relating to, or proceeding from the devil; satanic
befitting a devil; extremely cruel or wicked; fiendish
very difficult or unpleasant
Derived Forms
diabolically, adverb
diabolicalness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Late Latin diabolicus, from Greek diabolikos, from diabolosdevil
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for diabolic

late 14c., from Old French diabolique (13c.), from Late Latin diabolicus, from Ecclesiastical Greek diabolikos "devilish," from diabolos (see devil (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for diabolic

Word Value for diabolic

Scrabble Words With Friends