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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.
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. 2014.
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Examples from the web for vilified
  • Only make the knocker a far more vile figure than the object presumably vilified.
  • But though he often vilified sharks, sometimes he wrote of them with reverence.
  • Gene therapy has been rhapsodized and vilified in its nearly two decades of human testing, helping some and making others sicker.
  • Nuclear, the only program which can pay for itself, is vilified by the eco people.
  • Their terrifying size and bat shape fed an aura of mystery and menace, and mantas were vilified as ferocious monsters.
  • Drug companies can be vilified for many reasons but not this one.
  • Moose found himself vilified and derided in many corners as ineffectual and incompetent.
  • Incredibly, her coalition partner was the same high-caste party, one that she had vilified in her speech.
  • Often those bringing the complaints end up vilified and suffer for their actions.
  • Both athletes were booed by the audience for making the gesture and vilified by the news media.
British Dictionary definitions for vilified


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 vilified



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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