adjective, vil·er, vil·est.

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

Synonyms for vile

1. See mean2. 3. repellent. 4. vicious, evil, iniquitous. 5. vulgar, obscene. 9, 10. contemptible. 10. trivial, trifling.

Antonyms for vile

1. good. 4. elevated. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for vileness

Historical Examples of vileness

  • Is it an impression of the vileness and worthlessness of our species?

  • Did you think you could bribe me with your gifts to tolerate your vileness?

    Poisoned Air

    Sterner St. Paul Meek

  • It needed this to show me the vileness of the thing I have done.

    The Sea-Hawk

    Raphael Sabatini

  • Having been a spy himself,' he was a good judge of the vileness of the office.

    Mistress Wilding

    Rafael Sabatini

  • Had you stabbed him in the back with a knife, you would have shown the courage of your vileness.


    Rafael Sabatini

British Dictionary definitions for vileness



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

Word Origin for vile

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 vileness



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