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[vil-uh-fahy] /ˈvɪl əˌfaɪ/
verb (used with object), vilified, vilifying.
to speak ill of; defame; slander.
Obsolete. to make vile.
Origin of vilify
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Late Latin vīlificāre. See vile, -fy
Related forms
vilification, noun
vilifier, noun
vilifyingly, adverb
unvilified, adjective
1. depreciate, disparage, calumniate, malign, abuse, asperse, blacken.
1. commend. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for vilification
  • Another important contributor to the slow acceptance of these new ideas is the vilification of dietary fats.
  • There is always anger at the normal and vilification of anything that works, that succeeds.
  • Some of it was true but not actually worthy of vilification.
  • Calling someone ignorant isn't vilification and neither is calling them to task.
  • Carter stresses the distortion, exaggeration, and vilification that occurred during the debate on the nomination.
  • The fashion industry is ideally placed to promote the vilification of obesity.
  • They will be torn apart by the vilification and the threats of violence.
  • However, the amount of vilification he receives is not entirely deserved.
  • Those are only mentioned when it comes to vilification.
  • But, air pollution control did not lend itself as easily to traditional tactics of vilification.
British Dictionary definitions for vilification


verb (transitive) -fies, -fying, -fied
to revile with abusive or defamatory language; malign: he has been vilified in the tabloid press
(rare) to make vile; debase; degrade
Derived Forms
vilification (ˌvɪlɪfɪˈkeɪʃən) noun
vilifier, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Late Latin vīlificāre, from Latin vīlis worthless + facere to make
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 vilification



mid-15c., "to lower in worth or value," from Late Latin vilificare "to make cheap or base," from Latin vilis "cheap, base" (see vile) + root of facere "to make" (see factitious). Meaning "to slander, speak evil of" is first recorded 1590s. Related: Vilified, vilifying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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