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[dahy-uh-bol-ik] /ˌdaɪ əˈbɒl ɪk/
having the qualities of a devil; devilish; fiendish; outrageously wicked:
a diabolic plot.
pertaining to or actuated by a devil.
Origin of diabolic
1350-1400; Middle English diabolik (< Middle French) < Late Latin diabolicus < Greek diabolikós, equivalent to diábol(os) devil + -ikos -ic
Related forms
diabolically, adverb
diabolicalness, noun
hyperdiabolical, adjective
hyperdiabolically, adverb
hyperdiabolicalness, noun
nondiabolic, adjective
nondiabolical, adjective
nondiabolically, adverb
nondiabolicalness, noun
superdiabolical, adjective
superdiabolically, adverb
superdiabolicalness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for diabolic
  • It is sort of diabolic that the greener you want to be, the more processing there has to be of the necessary rare earths.
  • Digitization will amplify our better nature but also its diabolic opposite.
  • At the end of the book, meaning is about to be restored, by a gang of precocious and diabolic schoolboys.
British Dictionary definitions for diabolic


of, relating to, or proceeding from the devil; satanic
befitting a devil; extremely cruel or wicked; fiendish
very difficult or unpleasant
Derived Forms
diabolically, adverb
diabolicalness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Late Latin diabolicus, from Greek diabolikos, from diabolosdevil
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
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Word Origin and History for diabolic

late 14c., from Old French diabolique (13c.), from Late Latin diabolicus, from Ecclesiastical Greek diabolikos "devilish," from diabolos (see devil (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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