evil

\ \ [OE] Evil has got distinctly worse over the millennia. Originally it seems to have signified nothing more sinister than ‘uppity’, and in the Old and Middle English period it meant simply ‘bad’; it is only in modern English that its connotations of ‘extreme moral wickedness’ came to the fore. It probably comes ultimately from *upelo- a derivative of the Indo-European base *upo- ‘under’ (source of Greek hupóunder’, Sanskrit upaat, to’, and English up and over), and so its underlying connotation is of ‘exceeding due limits, extremism’. Its Germanic descendant was *ubilaz, source of German übelevil’ as well as English evil.
\ \ Cf.OVER, UP

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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  • Evil — • In a large sense, described as the sum of the opposition, which experience shows to exist in the universe, to the desires and needs of individuals; whence arises, among humans beings at least, the sufferings in which life abounds Catholic… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Evil — E*vil ([=e] v l) a. [OE. evel, evil, ifel, uvel, AS. yfel; akin to OFries, evel, D. euvel, OS. & OHG. ubil, G. [ u]bel, Goth. ubils, and perh. to E. over.] 1. Having qualities tending to injury and mischief; having a nature or properties which… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • evil — adj *bad, ill, wicked, naughty Analogous words: *base, low, vile: iniquitous, nefarious, flagitious, *vicious, villainous, infamous: *pernicious, baneful: *execrable, damnable Antonyms: exemplary: salutary …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • evil — ► ADJECTIVE 1) deeply immoral and malevolent. 2) embodying or associated with the devil. 3) extremely unpleasant: an evil smell. ► NOUN 1) extreme wickedness and depravity, especially when regarded as a supernatural force. 2) something harmful or …   English terms dictionary

  • evil — [ē′vəl] adj. [ME ivel < OE yfel, akin to Ger übel < IE * upelo < base * upo , up from under > UP1, Sans upa, toward] 1. a) morally bad or wrong; wicked; depraved b) resulting from or based on conduct regarded as immoral [an evil… …   English World dictionary

  • Evil — E vil ([=e] v l) n. 1. Anything which impairs the happiness of a being or deprives a being of any good; anything which causes suffering of any kind to sentient beings; injury; mischief; harm; opposed to {good}. [1913 Webster] Evils which our own… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Evil — (englisch, als Adjektiv: ‚böse‘, ‚schlecht‘, als Substantiv: ‚das Böse‘) steht für: Evil (Roman), den 1989 veröffentlichten Roman des Autors Jack Ketchum Evil (2003), einen schwedischen Spielfilm Evil (2005), einen griechischen Horrorfilm eine EP …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Evil — E vil, adv. In an evil manner; not well; ill; badly; unhappily; injuriously; unkindly. Shak. [1913 Webster] It went evil with his house. 1 Chron. vii. 23. [1913 Webster] The Egyptians evil entreated us, and affected us. Deut. xxvi. 6. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • evil — (adj.) O.E. yfel (Kentish evel) bad, vicious, ill, wicked, from P.Gmc. *ubilaz (Cf. O.Saxon ubil, O.Fris., M.Du. evel, Du. euvel, O.H.G. ubil, Ger. übel, Goth. ubils), from PIE *upelo , from root *wap (Cf. Hittite huwapp …   Etymology dictionary

  • Evil — (англ. зло, бедствие, несчастье): EVIL камера  англоязычная аббревиатура беззеркального системного компактного цифрового фотоаппарата с возможностью смены объектива Музыка Evil  песня нью йоркской инди рок группы Interpol См. также …   Википедия

  • evil — evil; evil·ly; evil·ness; …   English syllables

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