A Word A Day : Nefarious

Thursday, 14th February 2008 : Today's Word is ...


( Adjective )

Pronunciation : ne-férree-ess


1. Infamous by way of being extremely wicked

2. Utterly immoral or wicked

3. So objectionable as to elicit despisal or deserve condemnation

4. Morally bad in principle or practice


Early 17th century - Latin nefarius - nefas - sin - ne - not + fas - divine law


abhorrent, abominable, antipathetic, contemptible, despicable, despisable, detestable, disgusting, egregious, filthy, foul, infamous, loathsome, lousy, low, mean2, nasty, obnoxious, odious, repugnant, rotten, shabby, vicious, vile, wretched

Egregious means conspicuously and outrageously bad or reprehensible.

Exceptional means well above average or surpassing what is common or usual or expected.

Vicious is savage or cruel.

Viscous is thick or gummy, as a liquid that is hard to pour.

Vial is a small container, especially for liquids.

Vile is an adjective meaning despicable, disgusting, or repulsive.


admirable, good, honorable, respectable, virtuous, worthy

Contextual Examples:

• A crowd gathered around the wanted poster of the nefarious criminal.

• And now, thus unexpectedly, I found myself joining the nefarious conspiracy.

• These methods are when, either by some wicked or nefarious ways.

• Less figuratively speaking, he came up into the printing-office to expose from the book the nefarious plagiarism of an editor in a neighboring city.

Related Words:

nefariously : Adverb

nefariousness : Noun

Common Misspellings of Trenchant:



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