From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishevile‧vil1 /ˈiːvəl/ ●●○ S3 W3 adjective 1 bad someone who is evil deliberately does very cruel things to harm other people an evil dictator responsible for the deaths of millions his evil deeds2 HARM/BE BAD FORwrong something that is evil is morally wrong because it harms people SYN wicked They condemned slavery as evil.3 unpleasant very unpleasant an evil smell a puddle of evil black liquid4 ROdevil connected with the Devil and having special powers to harm people evil spirits an evil spell5 → the evil eye6 → the evil hour/day etc —evilly adverb Jeff grinned evilly as he picked up the phone.
Examples from the Corpusevil• Sue says that TV talk shows are evil.• The eyes of the lynch mob were uncomprehendingly evil.• The dark, evil, beautiful one.• In the movie, the hero has to rescue the world from an evil scientist.• There's an evil smell coming from the fridge.• Blake was skeptical, wondering if it were really an evil spirit.• Or did evil Uncle Humbert destroy it, because under the law he would then get a piece of the action?• What I and my friends put down to evil witchcraft, my enemies are likely to attribute to incompetence or bad management.evilevil2 ●●○ noun 1 [countable]HARM/BE BAD FOR something that is very bad or harmful She wanted to protect her children from the evils of the outside world. Poverty is one of the greatest social evils of our time. the evils of capitalism2 [uncountable]BAD BEHAVIOUR OR ACTIONS cruel or morally bad behaviour in general OPP good There is too much evil in the world. the eternal struggle between good and evil → the lesser of two evils at lesser(2), → necessary evil at necessary1(3)COLLOCATIONS – Meaning 1: something that is very bad or harmfulADJECTIVES/NOUN + evil a great/greater evilHe saw fascism as the greatest evil of his times.a lesser evil (=a bad thing, but not as bad as something else)She knew that she couldn't leave the children, so she opted for the lesser evil and stayed.a necessary evil (=something that is bad but necessary)Most businesses see government regulation as a necessary evil.a social evil (=something bad that happens in human society)The community is being torn apart by poverty, drug abuse and other social evils.a moral evil (=a bad thing in relation to principles of what is right and wrong)Mental or physical torture is a moral evil, and it can never be justified.COLLOCATIONS – Meaning 2: cruel or morally bad behaviour in generalverbsfight/combat evilJoan swore to fight evil in all its forms.phrasesgood and evilYou have to teach your kids about right and wrong, good and evil.the forces of evil literary (=the people or things that increase the amount of evil in the world)The king knew he must fight the forces of evil or his homeland would perish.something is the root of all evil (=something is the main cause of bad things)Love of money is the root of all evil.
Examples from the Corpusevil• In his speech, he said that the white man is the cause of all evil.• Posidonius considered the chattel-slavery of his time an evil.• I could not understand why men who knew all about good and evil could hate and kill each other.• Only 14 days for the seven years to be increased to the sentence that fits his crimes and his evil - life.• Johnson: Moral evil is occasioned by free will, which implies choice between good and evil.• Wars, revolutions, crimes all the evils that beset mankind could be traced to them.• His songs were melancholy pictures of life and love and the evils of the consumer revolution.• Dad gave us a lecture on the evils of smoking.Origin evil1 Old English yfel