[ ee-vuhl ]SEE DEFINITION OF evil


"His countenance and his voice troubled me, like the presence of evil," answered Philothea.

The best doctrines become the worst, when they are used for evil purposes.

I should be b-a-d, and I should sit up nights to invent new ways of evil.

From evil—physical, moral, and political—it is not our claim to be exempt.

But the evil has come with the good, and much fine gold has been corroded.

Be it considered, also, that men often overestimate their capacity for evil.

You have seen that life is fragile, and evil is real, and courage triumphs.

"I believe the Evil One is in the box," said he, with some vexation.

Where the Universal Good is all there can be no place for evil or evil spirits.

How would he stand against the evil influences surrounding him?


Old English yfel (Kentish evel) "bad, vicious, ill, wicked," from Proto-Germanic *ubilaz (cf. Old Saxon ubil, Old Frisian and Middle Dutch evel, Dutch euvel, Old High German ubil, German übel, Gothic ubils), from PIE *upelo-, from root *wap- (cf. Hittite huwapp- "evil").

"In OE., as in all the other early Teut. langs., exc. Scandinavian, this word is the most comprehensive adjectival expression of disapproval, dislike or disparagement" [OED]. Evil was the word the Anglo-Saxons used where we would use bad, cruel, unskillful, defective (adj.), or harm, crime, misfortune, disease (n.). The meaning "extreme moral wickedness" was in Old English, but did not become the main sense until 18c. Related: Evilly. Evil eye (Latin oculus malus) was Old English eage yfel. Evilchild is attested as an English surname from 13c.


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.