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nefarious

[ni-fair-ee-uh s]
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adjective
  1. extremely wicked or villainous; iniquitous: a nefarious plot.
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Origin of nefarious

1595–1605; < Latin nefārius wicked, vile, equivalent to nefās offense against divine or moral law (ne- negative prefix + fās law, right) + -ius -ious, with intervocalic s > r
Related formsne·far·i·ous·ly, adverbne·far·i·ous·ness, nounun·ne·far·i·ous, adjectiveun·ne·far·i·ous·ly, adverbun·ne·far·i·ous·ness, noun

Synonyms

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flagitious, heinous, infamous; vile, atrocious, execrable.

Antonyms

good, honest.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for nefariously

Historical Examples

  • If the Government had not nefariously interposed, it could not have passed.

    Charles Sumner; his complete works, volume 5 (of 20)

    Charles Sumner

  • He opened his eyes at my nefariously obtained knowledge, and still more when I produced the paper written from his dictation.

    There is no Death

    Florence Marryatt

  • Hull was in possession, and refused to yield an acre of the lands he had so nefariously acquired.


British Dictionary definitions for nefariously

nefarious

adjective
  1. evil; wicked; sinful
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Derived Formsnefariously, adverbnefariousness, noun

Word Origin

C17: from Latin nefārius, from nefās unlawful deed, from not + fās divine law
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 nefariously

nefarious

adj.

c.1600, from Latin nefarius "wicked, abominable, impious," from nefas "crime, wrong, impiety," from ne- "not" (see un-) + fas "right, lawful, divinely spoken," related to fari "to speak" (see fame (n.)). Related: Nefariously.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper