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Webster 1913 Edition


Evil

E-vil

(ē′v’l)
Adj.
[OE.
evel
,
evil
,
ifel
,
uvel
, AS.
yfel
; akin to OFries,
evel
, D.
euvel
, OS. & OHG.
ubil
, G.
übel
, Goth.
ubils
, and perh. to E.
over
.]
1.
Having qualities tending to injury and mischief; having a nature or properties which tend to badness; mischievous; not good; worthless or deleterious; poor;
as, an
evil
beast; and
evil
plant; an
evil
crop.
A good tree can not bring forth
evil
fruit.
Matt. vii. 18.
2.
Having or exhibiting bad moral qualities; morally corrupt; wicked; wrong; vicious;
as,
evil
conduct, thoughts, heart, words, and the like
.
Ah, what a sign it is of
evil
life,
When death’s approach is seen so terrible.
Shakespeare
3.
Producing or threatening sorrow, distress, injury, or calamity; unpropitious; calamitous;
as,
evil
tidings;
evil
arrows;
evil
days.
Because he hath brought up an
evil
name upon a virgin of Israel.
Deut. xxii. 19.
The owl shrieked at thy birth – an
evil
sign.
Shakespeare
Evil
news rides post, while good news baits.
Milton.
Evil eye
,
an eye which inflicts injury by some magical or fascinating influence. It is still believed by the ignorant and superstitious that some persons have the supernatural power of injuring by a look.

Evil speaking
,
speaking ill of others; calumny; censoriousness.
The evil one
,
the Devil; Satan.
Syn. – Mischieveous; pernicious; injurious; hurtful; destructive; wicked; sinful; bad; corrupt; perverse; wrong; vicious; calamitous.

E′vil

(ē′v’l)
Noun.
1.
Anything which impairs the happiness of a being or deprives a being of any good; anything which causes suffering of any kind to sentient beings; injury; mischief; harm; – opposed to
good
.
Evils
which our own misdeeds have wrought.
Milton.
The
evil
that men do lives after them.
Shakespeare
2.
Moral badness, or the deviation of a moral being from the principles of virtue imposed by conscience, or by the will of the Supreme Being, or by the principles of a lawful human authority; disposition to do wrong; moral offence; wickedness; depravity.
The heart of the sons of men is full of
evil
.
Eccl. ix. 3.
3.
malady or disease; especially in the phrase
king's evil
, the scrofula.
[R.]
Shak.
He [Edward the Confessor] was the first that touched for the
evil
.
Addison.

E′vil

,
adv.
In an evil manner; not well; ill; badly; unhappily; injuriously; unkindly.
Shak.
It went
evil
with his house.
1 Chron. vii. 23.
The Egyptians
evil
entreated us, and affected us.
Deut. xxvi. 6.

Webster 1828 Edition


Evil

E'VIL

,
Adj.
e'vl. [Heb. to be unjust or injurious, to defraud.]
1.
Having bad qualities of a natural kind; mischievous; having qualities which tend to injury, or to produce mischief.
Some evil beast hath devoured him. Gen.37.
2.
Having bad qualities of a moral kind; wicked; corrupt; perverse; wrong; as evil thoughts; evil deeds; evil speaking; an evil generation.
3.
Unfortunate; unhappy; producing sorrow, distress, injury or calamity; as evil tidings; evil arrows; evil days.

E'VIL

,
Noun.
Evil is natural or moral. Natural evil is any thing which produces pain, distress, loss or calamity, or which in any way disturbs the peace, impairs the happiness, or destroys the perfection of natural beings.
Moral evil is any deviation of a moral agent from the rules of conduct prescribed to him by God, or by legitimate human authority; or it is any violation of the plain principles of justice and rectitude.
There are also evils called civil, which affect injuriously the peace or prosperity of a city or state; and political evils, which injure a nation, in its public capacity.
All wickedness, all crimes, all violations of law and right are moral evils. Diseases are natural evils, but they often proceed from moral evils.
2.
Misfortune; mischief; injury.
There shall no evil befall thee. Ps.91.
A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself. Prov.22.
3.
Depravity; corruption of heart, or disposition to commit wickedness; malignity.
The heart of the sons of men is full of evil. Eccles.9.
4.
Malady; as the king's evil or scrophula.

E'VIL

,
adv.
[generally contracted to ill.]
1.
Not well; not with justice or propriety; unsuitable.
Evil it beseems thee.
2.
Not virtuously; not innocently.
3.
Not happily; unfortunately.
It went evil with his house.
4.
Injuriously; not kindly.
The Egyptians evil entreated us, and afflicted us.
In composition, evil, denoting something bad or wrong, is often contracted to ill.

Definition 2021


evil

evil

English

A stereotypical evil man. This is an artistic representation of the purposely distinctive visage of villains, initially from the stage plays of the 1880s.

Adjective

evil (comparative eviller or eviler or more evil, superlative evillest or evilest or most evil)

  1. Intending to harm; malevolent.
    Do you think that companies that engage in animal testing are evil?
  2. Morally corrupt.
    an evil plot to kill innocent people
    • Shakespeare
      Ah, what a sign it is of evil life, / When death's approach is seen so terrible.
  3. Unpleasant. (Can we add an example for this sense?)
  4. Producing or threatening sorrow, distress, injury, or calamity; unpropitious; calamitous.
    • Bible, Deuteronomy xxii. 19
      He hath brought up an evil name upon a virgin of Israel.
    • Shakespeare
      The owl shrieked at thy birth an evil sign.
    • Milton
      Evil news rides post, while good news baits.
  5. (obsolete) Having harmful qualities; not good; worthless or deleterious.
    an evil beast; an evil plant; an evil crop
    • Bible, Matthew vii. 18
      A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit.
  6. (computing, programming, slang) undesirable; harmful; bad practice
    Global variables are evil; storing processing context in object member variables allows those objects to be reused in a much more flexible way.

Synonyms

Antonyms

Derived terms

Translations

Noun

evil (countable and uncountable, plural evils)

  1. Moral badness; wickedness; malevolence; the forces or behaviors that are the opposite or enemy of good.
    • Bible, Ecclesiastes. ix. 3
      The heart of the sons of men is full of evil.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 16, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      The preposterous altruism too! [] Resist not evil. It is an insane immolation of self—as bad intrinsically as fakirs stabbing themselves or anchorites warping their spines in caves scarcely large enough for a fair-sized dog.
    The evils of society include murder and theft.
    Evil lacks spirituality, hence its need for mind control.
  2. Anything which impairs the happiness of a being or deprives a being of any good; anything which causes suffering of any kind to sentient beings; injury; mischief; harm.
  3. (obsolete) A malady or disease; especially in the phrase king's evil (scrofula).
    • (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)
    • Addison
      He [Edward the Confessor] was the first that touched for the evil.

Antonyms

Derived terms

Translations

Statistics

Most common English words before 1923: agreement · ship · third · #692: evil · outside · beside · worth

Anagrams