[ vil-uh-fahy ]
/ ˈvɪl əˌfaɪ /

verb (used with object), vil·i·fied, vil·i·fy·ing.

to speak ill of; defame; slander.
Obsolete. to make vile.

Nearby words

  1. vila,
  2. vila nova de gaia,
  3. vilayet,
  4. vile,
  5. vilely,
  6. vilipend,
  7. vill,
  8. villa,
  9. villa cisneros,
  10. villa home

Origin of vilify

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English word from Late Latin word vīlificāre. See vile, -fy

Related formsvil·i·fi·ca·tion, nounvil·i·fi·er, nounvil·i·fy·ing·ly, adverbun·vil·i·fied, adjective

Can be confusedvilify villainize Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for vilification

British Dictionary definitions for vilification


/ (ˈvɪlɪˌfaɪ) /

verb -fies, -fying or -fied (tr)

to revile with abusive or defamatory language; malignhe has been vilified in the tabloid press
rare to make vile; debase; degrade
Derived Formsvilification (ˌvɪlɪfɪˈkeɪʃən), nounvilifier, noun

Word Origin for vilify

C15: from Late Latin vīlificāre, from Latin vīlis worthless + facere to make

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 vilification



mid-15c., "to lower in worth or value," from Late Latin vilificare "to make cheap or base," from Latin vilis "cheap, base" (see vile) + root of facere "to make" (see factitious). Meaning "to slander, speak evil of" is first recorded 1590s. Related: Vilified, vilifying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper