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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.
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Examples from the Web for diabolically
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • My fancies have not deceived me—I love you ecstatically, diabolically, as a madman might!

    Poor Folk Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • Ah, she had always been diabolically clever, unscrupulously ambitious!

    Ghetto Comedies

    Israel Zangwill
  • Yes, the device was simple, diabolically simple, and adequate.

    Heart of the Blue Ridge Waldron Baily
  • These Robots, diabolically developed, were upon the verge of revolt.

  • diabolically clever, too, in his way, but an idealist at heart.

    The Way of Ambition Robert Hichens
  • And that, though meant to indicate a suicide, proved only a diabolically clever criminal!

    The Luminous Face Carolyn Wells
  • Beside which, a strange lust for work possessed the diabolically gnarled body.

    The Surprises of Life Georges Clemenceau
British Dictionary definitions for diabolically


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
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Word Origin and History for diabolically



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
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