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adjective, vil·er, vil·est.
  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.
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Origin of vile

1250–1300; Middle English vil < Old French < Latin vīlis of little worth, base, cheap
Related formsvile·ly, adverbvile·ness, noun
Can be confusedvial vile viol


See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
1. See mean2. 3. repellent. 4. vicious, evil, iniquitous. 5. vulgar, obscene. 9, 10. contemptible. 10. trivial, trifling.


1. good. 4. elevated.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for vile


  1. abominably wicked; shameful or evilthe vile development of slavery appalled them
  2. morally despicable; ignoblevile accusations
  3. disgusting to the senses or emotions; foula vile smell; vile epithets
  4. tending to humiliate or degradeonly slaves would perform such vile tasks
  5. unpleasant or badvile weather
  6. paltrya vile reward
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Derived Formsvilely, adverbvileness, 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

Word Origin and History for vile


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper