or di·a·bol·i·cal

[dahy-uh-bol-ik or dahy-uh-bol-i-kuh l]


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 formsdi·a·bol·i·cal·ly, adverbdi·a·bol·i·cal·ness, nounhy·per·di·a·bol·i·cal, adjectivehy·per·di·a·bol·i·cal·ly, adverbhy·per·di·a·bol·i·cal·ness, nounnon·di·a·bol·ic, adjectivenon·di·a·bol·i·cal, adjectivenon·di·a·bol·i·cal·ly, adverbnon·di·a·bol·i·cal·ness, nounsu·per·di·a·bol·i·cal, adjectivesu·per·di·a·bol·i·cal·ly, adverbsu·per·di·a·bol·i·cal·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for diabolically

Contemporary Examples of diabolically

Historical Examples of diabolically

  • 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.

  • 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

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 Formsdiabolically, adverbdiabolicalness, noun

Word Origin for diabolic

C14: from Late Latin diabolicus, from Greek diabolikos, from diabolos devil
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

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