• synonyms


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

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

Examples from the Web for viler

Historical Examples of viler

  • True, there had been nothing, in his lifetime, viler than this man.

    The Marble Faun, Volume I.

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • It was not significant of recognition; but rather of some thought of viler origin.

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

  • If the men of the last generation were vile, the women, I think, were viler still.

    The Rubicon

    E. F. Benson

  • He hadn't the courage to look into his soul, black with a viler sin.

    Painted Veils

    James Huneker

British Dictionary definitions for viler


  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 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 viler



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