Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “evil”

See all translations

evil

adjective uk   /ˈiː.vəl/ us  
B2 morally bad, cruel, or very unpleasant: an evil dictator These people are just evil. If the weather or a smell is evil, it is very unpleasant.
More examples

evil

noun [C or U] uk   /ˈiː.vəl/ us  
B2 something that is very bad and harmful: Each new leader would blame his predecessor for all the evils of the past. Drug addiction is one of today's great social evils. For the sake of long-term peace, the military option is the lesser evil/the lesser of two evils (= the less unpleasant of two bad choices). the battle between good and evil
More examples
Translations of “evil”
in Korean 사악한…
in Arabic شِرِّير…
in French mauvais…
in Turkish fena, kötü, berbat…
in Italian cattivo, malvagio…
in Chinese (Traditional) 道德敗壞的, 邪惡的,惡毒的, 討厭的…
in Russian злой…
in Polish zły, złowrogi…
in Spanish malo, malvado…
in Portuguese malvado…
in German böse…
in Catalan malvat…
in Japanese 邪悪な…
in Chinese (Simplified) 道德败坏的, 邪恶的,恶毒的, 讨厌的…
(Definition of evil from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of evil?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “evil” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

glacial

made or left by a glacier

Word of the Day

Let’s celebrate! (words and phrases for parties)

by Kate Woodford,
December 17, 2014
​​​ With Christmas and New Year almost upon us, we thought it a good time to look at the language of parties and celebrations. First, let’s start with the word ‘party’ itself. To have or throw a party or, less commonly, to give a party is to arrange a party: We’re having a

Read More 

cinderella surgery noun

December 15, 2014
cosmetic surgery to the feet We have all heard of people having nose jobs, boob jobs and liposuction – but now a new trend growing in popularity in America: Cinderella surgery.

Read More