having or showing a morally wicked or depraved nature; arousing disgust or moral loathing.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



wicked, evil, depraved, corrupt, immoral, unethical, sinning, abominable, monstrous, base, low, degraded, degraded.


virtuous, moral, good, ethical, noble, righteous, pure, elevated, elevated, kind, decent.

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun vileness, vilenesses
Verb None
Adjective vile
Adverb vilely

Example Sentences

  • The dictator’s vile regime suppressed freedom of speech and committed heinous acts of violence against its own citizens.

  • The serial killer’s vile acts of cruelty and torture shocked the community and left a lasting sense of fear.

  • The politician’s vile and hateful rhetoric fueled division and animosity among the population, undermining the principles of unity and tolerance.

  • The vile stench emanating from the neglected garbage piled up in the summer heat was unbearable and attracted swarms of flies.


The word “vile” originated from the Old French word “vile” and the Latin word “vilis,” which means “cheap” or “of little value.” Over time, its meaning evolved to convey a sense of extreme moral depravity or wickedness. It is often used to describe something or someone repulsive, disgusting, or morally despicable.

The prefix “vi-” in “vile” intensifies the negative connotation associated with the word. It emphasizes the abhorrent or offensive nature of the subject at hand. The suffix “-le” adds an adjectival ending to the root, forming the adjective “vile.”

The word “vile” is commonly used to describe actions, behaviors, or characteristics that are morally reprehensible or deeply offensive. It is often applied to people who engage in cruel or immoral acts, such as criminals or tyrants. It can also be used to describe objects, substances, or situations that are extremely unpleasant or repugnant. In common usage, “vile” is often used to describe acts of violence, cruelty, exploitation, or dishonesty, or any other behavior that is seen as being in conflict with basic ethical or moral principles.

In literature and rhetoric, “vile” is used to create vivid imagery and evoke strong emotions. It is employed to emphasize the lowly, degrading, or loathsome nature of a person, action, or situation. The word “vile” carries a powerful negative connotation, invoking feelings of disgust, revulsion, and condemnation.

Overall, “vile” is a strong and evocative word that is reserved for expressing strong disapproval and contempt towards something or someone of extreme moral depravity or disgustingly offensive nature. It is a potent term used to convey the depths of moral degradation or the repulsiveness of certain actions or individuals.