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vile

[vahyl] /vaɪl/
adjective, viler, vilest.
1.
wretchedly bad:
a vile humor.
2.
highly offensive, unpleasant, or objectionable:
vile slander.
3.
repulsive or disgusting, as to the senses or feelings:
a vile odor.
4.
morally debased, depraved, or despicable:
vile deeds.
5.
foul; filthy:
vile language.
6.
poor; wretched:
vile workmanship.
7.
of mean or low condition:
a vile beggar.
8.
menial; lowly:
vile tasks.
9.
degraded; ignominious:
vile servitude.
10.
of little value or account; paltry:
a vile recompense.
Origin of vile
1250-1300
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.
Synonyms
1. See mean2 . 3. repellent. 4. vicious, evil, iniquitous. 5. vulgar, obscene. 9, 10. contemptible. 10. trivial, trifling.
Antonyms
1. good. 4. elevated.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for viler
Historical Examples
  • A viler figure was never sketched by Balzac; a viler figure was seldom drawn by Thackeray.

    A Study of Shakespeare Algernon Charles Swinburne
  • But has not Christian Rome witnessed many a viler spectacle?

    Flowers of Freethought George W. Foote
  • If the men of the last generation were vile, the women, I think, were viler still.

    The Rubicon E. F. Benson
  • She was utterly abashed and humiliated, and in her own sight she was viler than the vilest.

    Albrecht Arlo Bates
  • View the whole herd of administration (I know 'em well) and tell me if the world can furnish a viler set of miscreants?

  • Nero was no viler than his time, in which one could only be one of the two, good or bad.

    The Ego and His Own Max Stirner
  • True, there had been nothing, in his lifetime, viler than this man.

    The Marble Faun, Volume I. Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • The bestémmia of the Romans is viler than the blasphemy of English or Americans.

  • She is viler than any of those Berlin light o' loves on the eve of Jena.

  • That, on the very face of it, is a viler and more sordid one.

British Dictionary definitions for viler

vile

/vaɪl/
adjective
1.
abominably wicked; shameful or evil: the vile development of slavery appalled them
2.
morally despicable; ignoble: vile accusations
3.
disgusting to the senses or emotions; foul: a vile smell, vile epithets
4.
tending to humiliate or degrade: only slaves would perform such vile tasks
5.
unpleasant or bad: vile weather
6.
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 viler

vile

adj.

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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