Definition of nefarious in English:

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Pronunciation: /nɪˈfɛːrɪəs/


(Typically of an action or activity) wicked or criminal: the nefarious activities of the organized-crime syndicates
More example sentences
  • All this does is make celebrities out of these crooks and encourages them to continue with their nefarious activities.
  • Such nefarious activity sounds absurd - we are, after all, talking about the theft of objects that exist only on screen.
  • I don't know if this was because she was just trying to be unobtrusive, or if she thought we were up to some nefarious activity.



Pronunciation: /niˈfɛːrɪəsli/
Example sentences
  • I was watching you from my balcony after you took leave of my chambers; I saw a young man jump out, rather nefariously, I must say, from the trees and decided to make sure you had no need of my aid.
  • While the flaws may have been discovered and the tools produced through a drive of curiosity, frequently the results of that work are used nefariously by the original authors and others with malicious intent.
  • And in some cases, we had folks from out of state who were coming into Utah, getting a Utah driver's license and using it nefariously for identification purposes.


Pronunciation: /nɪˈfɛːrɪəsnəs/
Example sentences
  • In essence, seeking protection for sources whose nefariousness he himself exposed, Cooper asks us to protect criminal leaks so that he can write about the crime. The greater public interest lies in preventing the leak to begin with.
  • Maybe it's the way one of the ‘kidnappers’ gets up close to the girl's head and casually explains, in a voice maximized for cold-blooded nefariousness, ‘You are being buried alive.’
  • At first Nietzsche joined in the Jew-baiting con brio, as one learns from Joachim Köhler's Nietzsche and Wagner: A Lesson in Subjugation, which is short on music and philosophy but indispensable on Wagner's general nefariousness.


Early 17th century: from Latin nefarius, from nefas, nefar- 'wrong' (from ne- 'not' + fas 'divine law') + -ous.

Words that rhyme with nefarious

Aquarius, calcareous, Darius, denarius, gregarious, hilarious, multifarious, omnifarious, precarious, Sagittarius, senarius, Stradivarius, temerarious, various, vicarious

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ne¦fari|ous

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