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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 vilify
  • The statements did not criticize the defendant's demeanor nor attempt to vilify him in any way.
  • vilify whomever you want but nowhere in the world is a source of drugs and therapies which are cheaper and more effective.
  • Commentators ruthlessly vilify all involved from the island of their own innocence.
  • Wow, guaranteed that quote will show up on some anti-science website to try to vilify how scientists view life.
  • People tend to vilify gambling as the root of all evil.
  • Sadly it has become commonplace to vilify our public employees.
  • The citation has nothing to do with the complaint that was made and only serves to vilify the complainant.
  • And instead of reaching out and building relationships you vilify and alienate them.
  • He also believes that it is wrong to use those budget problems to denigrate or vilify public sector employees.
British Dictionary definitions for vilify


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 vilify

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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