[ 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.

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 vilify

British Dictionary definitions for vilify


/ (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 vilify



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