evil Definition

  • 1profoundly immoral and wicked behavior
  • 2harmful or tending to harm

Using evil: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "evil" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    The evil deeds of the dictator will never be forgotten.

  • Example

    She was accused of practicing black magic and consorting with evil spirits.

  • Example

    The evil effects of pollution on the environment are becoming more apparent every day.

evil Synonyms and Antonyms

Idioms Using evil

  • money, believed to be the main cause of human suffering and conflict


    Some people say that the root of all evil is the love of money.

  • speak of the devil (and he shall appear)

    when you talk about someone, they often show up unexpectedly


    A: Hey, have you seen John today? B: No, why? A: Speak of the devil, here he comes now!

  • acknowledge someone's good qualities even if you don't like them


    I don't like him, but I have to give the devil his due - he's a talented musician.

Phrases with evil

  • the lesser of two evils

    a situation where there are two options, both of which are undesirable, but one is less so than the other


    I don't like either candidate, but I guess I'll vote for the lesser of two evils.

  • a look that is believed to be able to harm someone


    She thought her neighbor gave her the evil eye when she walked by.

  • a fictional character who looks exactly like a protagonist but has an opposite personality


    In the TV show, the main character has an evil twin who causes all sorts of trouble.

Origins of evil

from Old English 'yfel'


Summary: evil in Brief

The term 'evil' [ˈiːv(ə)l] refers to profoundly immoral and wicked behavior, or something harmful. It can be used as an adjective or noun, and is often associated with malevolence. Examples include 'The evil deeds of the dictator will never be forgotten,' and 'The evil effects of pollution on the environment.' Phrases like 'the lesser of two evils' and idioms like 'the root of all evil' demonstrate the concept of choosing between undesirable options or the belief that money is the cause of human suffering.

How do native speakers use this expression?