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[vahyl] /vaɪl/
adjective, viler, vilest.
wretchedly bad:
a vile humor.
highly offensive, unpleasant, or objectionable:
vile slander.
repulsive or disgusting, as to the senses or feelings:
a vile odor.
morally debased, depraved, or despicable:
vile deeds.
foul; filthy:
vile language.
poor; wretched:
vile workmanship.
of mean or low condition:
a vile beggar.
menial; lowly:
vile tasks.
degraded; ignominious:
vile servitude.
of little value or account; paltry:
a vile recompense.
Origin of vile
1250-1300; Middle English vil < Old French < Latin vīlis of little worth, base, cheap
Related forms
vilely, adverb
vileness, noun
Can be confused
vial, vile, viol.
1. See mean2 . 3. repellent. 4. vicious, evil, iniquitous. 5. vulgar, obscene. 9, 10. contemptible. 10. trivial, trifling.
1. good. 4. elevated. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for vilely
Historical Examples
  • Love outraged most cruelly, friendship betrayed most vilely, all that was pure turned into sin, all that was true turned false.

    Rutledge Miriam Coles Harris
  • Open that, my love, and read our anguish into patience, for she has vilely deceived us.'

    The Vicar of Wakefield Oliver Goldsmith
  • Snuff is, we are sorry to say, vilely adulterated, and some kinds poisonously.

  • Never in all his life had he been so vilely treated, and never in all his life had he been so angry.

    The Call of the Wild Jack London
  • I have had this copied to save you trouble, as it was vilely written, and is now vilely expressed.

  • Had any one else said so, I should have denied it, but I must have been vilely rude.

  • When violently or vilely assailed his sensitive nature keenly felt the wound, but though he earned many a scar, he bore no malice.

    The Story of My Life Egerton Ryerson
  • In his own words, "he had fallen off vilely since the last action."

  • Across a vilely dirty room was stretched a cord upon which were hung to dry, huge and manifold strips of salt meat.

  • “The place smells so vilely,” said the latter as we came in.

    Dracula Bram Stoker
British Dictionary definitions for vilely


abominably wicked; shameful or evil: the vile development of slavery appalled them
morally despicable; ignoble: vile accusations
disgusting to the senses or emotions; foul: a vile smell, vile epithets
tending to humiliate or degrade: only slaves would perform such vile tasks
unpleasant or bad: vile weather
paltry: a vile reward
Derived Forms
vilely, adverb
vileness, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French vil, from Latin vīlis cheap
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 vilely



early 13c. (implied in vilety), from Anglo-French and Old French vile, from Latin vilis "cheap, worthless, base, common," of unknown origin. Related: Vilely.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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