Definition of evil in English:


Line breaks: evil
Pronunciation: /ˈiːv(ə)l
, -vɪl/


  • 2(Of a smell or sight) extremely unpleasant: a bathroom with an ineradicably evil smell
    More example sentences
    • One of these, when I knew it many years ago, was black, splattered with pigeon droppings, subjected to dense fogs, evil smells, filth everywhere.
    • Speight's putsch has the evil smell of a South Pacific Kristallnacht.
    • Borne along by the flow of traffic, she passed through the forum arch into a stew of noises, colors, and evil smells.
    unpleasant, disagreeable, nasty, horrible, foul, filthy, vile; inclement, wet, rainy, stormy, squally, blustery, cold, freezing, foggy


[mass noun] Back to top  


the evil eye

A gaze or stare superstitiously believed to cause harm: he gave me the evil eye as I walked past
More example sentences
  • About half of Bulgarians believe in telepathy, the evil eye and black magic, and that dreams can be prophetic.
  • The superstitious belief in the evil eye is ancient and widespread, though certainly not universal.
  • Nor does he believe in the evil eye, bad omen, and that kind of stuff.

the Evil One

archaic The Devil.
More example sentences
  • Remember that the Evil One is ruling over a community of noble savages, peace-loving people whose only problem is that they are oppressed by the Evil One.
  • Each of my paintings is like a book, exposing the tricks of the Evil One, revealing hidden truths through metaphoric symbols, hidden passages and written text.
  • But he puts it from him as a temptation of the Evil One, makes public confession on the pillory which had been the scene of Hester's shame, and dies in her arms.

give someone (the) evils

British informal Glare at someone: I looked at the girl he’d been eyeing up and I gave her the evils
More example sentences
  • I still gave her the evils though, even when she boarded the train before ours.
  • I sat there and gave her the evils for a few minutes but she never looked up.
  • Great pics too although they are definitely giving you the evils in that first one.

put off the evil day (or hour)

Postpone something unpleasant for as long as possible: it is too easy for children to put off the evil day when they have to get down to work
More example sentences
  • This is one of the earlier outdoor festivals on the calendar and, unfortunately, the dedicated committee, who have organised six highly successful Féiles so far, did not have the luxury of putting off the evil day.
  • But I am convinced that the right course adjustment now is better than dithering or putting off the evil day: sooner or later, even greater disruption, and perhaps worse, would follow.
  • The government is putting off the evil day of spending money at direct cost to the individuals who live along the coast.

speak evil of

Slander: it is a sin to speak evil of the king
More example sentences
  • Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.
  • But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in My Name, that can lightly speak evil of Me.
  • They never spoke evil of each other, and acted civil towards one another, which was an advantage for everyone.



More example sentences
  • That vote may have been evilly garnered by preying on people's baser tendencies, but again, a vote's a vote.
  • But it descended into your stomach through your nose and mouth and sat there evilly.
  • It comes from evil masterminds stroking their chin and smirking evilly.


More example sentences
  • The evil doers will be judged according to their work of evilness!
  • But instead of haranguing about corporate evilness, compete with them in the marketplace and be specific and even more energetic about bringing to light their polluting, wasting behaviors.
  • The Child Catcher is a wonderful part because I can get rid of all the venom and evilness which has accumulated during the day.


Old English yfel, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch euvel and German Übel.

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