• WordNet 3.6
    • adj evil having or exerting a malignant influence "malevolent stars","a malefic force"
    • adj evil morally bad or wrong "evil purposes","an evil influence","evil deeds"
    • adj evil having the nature of vice
    • n evil morally objectionable behavior
    • n evil the quality of being morally wrong in principle or practice "attempts to explain the origin of evil in the world"
    • n evil that which causes harm or destruction or misfortune; the good is oft interred with their bones"- Shakespeare "the evil that men do lives after them"
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Additional illustrations & photos:


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The word "dexterity", to do with skill is related to the right hand. The opposite of the word "deter" is "sinister", to do with evil, it is related to the left hand
    • Evil 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. "Evils which our own misdeeds have wrought.""The evil that men do lives after them."
    • Evil Having or exhibiting bad moral qualities; morally corrupt; wicked; wrong; vicious; as, evil conduct, thoughts, heart, words, and the like. "Ah, what a sign it is of evil life,
      When death's approach is seen so terrible."
    • Evil Having qualities tending to injury and mischief; having a nature or properties which tend to badness; mischievous; not good; worthless or deleterious; poor; as, an evil beast; and evil plant; an evil crop. "A good tree can not bring forth evil fruit."
    • adv Evil In an evil manner; not well; ill; badly; unhappily; injuriously; unkindly. "It went evil with his house.""The Egyptians evil entreated us, and affected us."
    • Evil malady or disease; especially in the phrase king's evil, the scrofula. "He [Edward the Confessor] was the first that touched for the evil ."
    • Evil Moral badness, or the deviation of a moral being from the principles of virtue imposed by conscience, or by the will of the Supreme Being, or by the principles of a lawful human authority; disposition to do wrong; moral offence; wickedness; depravity. "The heart of the sons of men is full of evil ."
    • Evil Producing or threatening sorrow, distress, injury, or calamity; unpropitious; calamitous; as, evil tidings; evil arrows; evil days. "Because he hath brought up an evil name upon a virgin of Israel.""The owl shrieked at thy birth -- an evil sign.""Evil news rides post, while good news baits."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Ancient Egyptians believed that onions would keep evil spirits away
    • evil compar. usually worse, superl. worst (see bad), or more evil, most evil (rarely eviler, evilest).
    • evil Having harmful qualities or characteristics; productive of or attended by harm or injury; hurtful to the body, mind, or feelings; effecting mischief, trouble, or pain; bad: as, an evil genius; evil laws.
    • evil Proceeding from a desire to injure; hostile.
    • evil Contrary to an accepted standard of right or righteousness; inconsistent with or violating the moral law; bad; sinful; wicked: as, evil deeds; an evil heart.
    • evil Proceeding from, due to, or purporting to be due to immorality or badness of conduct or character.
    • evil Bad, vile, base, vicious, wicked, iniquitous.
    • n evil Anything that causes injury, as to the body, mind, or feelings; anything that harms or is likely to harm.
    • n evil A malady or disease: as, the king's evil (which see, below).
    • n evil Conduct contrary to the standard of morals or righteousness, or a disposition toward such conduct; violation of the moral law; harmful intention or purpose.
    • n evil A harmful or wrong deed.
    • evil Injuriously.
    • evil Not happily; unfortunately.
    • evil Not virtuously; not innocently.
    • evil Not well; ill.
    • evil To fall ill or sick.
    • n evil A fork; a hayfork.
    • n evil A halter.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In South Carolina you can be fined for not denouncing "the evils of intemperance" on the fourth Friday of every October.
    • adj Evil ē′vl wicked: mischievous: disagreeable: unfortunate
    • adv Evil in an evil manner: badly
    • n Evil that which produces unhappiness or calamity: harm: wickedness: depravity: sin
    • ***


  • Martin Luther
    “The multitude of books is a great evil. There is no limit to this fever for writing.”
  • John Petit-Senn
    John Petit-Senn
    “Let us believe neither half of the good people tell us of ourselves, nor half the evil they say of others.”
  • Citium Zeno
    Citium Zeno
    “No evil is honorable: but death is honorable; therefore death is not evil.”
  • Socrates
    “False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.”
  • Aristotle
    “No notice is taken of a little evil, but when it increases it strikes the eye.”
  • Bible
    “Overcome evil with good. [St. Paul]]”


Lesser of two evils - Something that is the lesser of two evils, is an unpleasant option, but not as bad as the other.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. evel, evil, ifel, uvel, AS. yfel,; akin to OFries, evel, D. euvel, OS. & OHG. ubil, G. übel, Goth. ubils, and perh. to E. over,


In literature:

Ralph now saw plainly that he had been enticed hither by some evil being for no good.
"Traditions of Lancashire, Volume 2 (of 2)" by John Roby
But there was a creeping serpent in the garden, and the evil spirit that puts wrong thoughts in our hearts spoke to Eve through the serpent.
"Child's Story of the Bible" by Mary A. Lathbury
The evils forbidden therein none should perpetrate, either on others or on himself.
"The Ordinance of Covenanting" by John Cunningham
It had lived on an empire of evil-doing, and his evil-doing was at an end.
"The Manxman A Novel - 1895" by Hall Caine
She was reserved and haughty, and some said she had the evil eye.
"A German Pompadour" by Marie Hay
He had done evil to do good, and the evil he had done had been in vain.
"Tongues of Conscience" by Robert Smythe Hichens
Surely there was some way of combating this gigantic evil.
"Fighting the Traffic in Young Girls" by Various
It is our own eyes that are evil.
"Casa Braccio, Volumes 1 and 2 (of 2)" by F. Marion Crawford
And thus it is that when we would do good, evil will present itself; so men set up the symbol of fire as the symbol of deity.
"Saronia" by Richard Short
It is solely to benefit the trafficker, and it tends to evil, evil only, evil continually.
"Select Temperance Tracts" by American Tract Society

In poetry:

And when you grow up to be
Women and men,
You'll know how to overcome
Evil and sin.
"Industry in Children. Proverb 22:6" by Frank Barbour Coffin
Yes, truly God is gracious,
Who makes His sun to shine
Upon the good and evil,
And idle lives like mine.
"Midnight" by Robert Fuller Murray
What evil luck soever
For me remains in store,
'Tis sure much finer fellows
Have fared much worse before.
" II: As I Gird on for Fighting" by A E Housman
My feet to evil I let run,
And tongue of folly talk;
My eyes to vanity hath gone,
Thus did I vainly walk.
"Of Hell And The Estate of Those Who Perish" by John Bunyan
Why flatter thyself, Tyrant,
In ways great in evil?
The Lord's goodness ceases not
Keeping watch on the pious.
"Song II" by Mikolaj Sep Szarzynski
"My life is hunted,—evil men
Are following in my track;
The traces of the torturer's whip
Are on my aged back;
"The Exiles. 1660" by John Greenleaf Whittier

In news:

Warn young on evils of huffing , says victim's dad.
2012 Think-Off question: Is humankind good or evil.
A Down-to-Earth Iago , Evil Made Ordinary.
Jane is searching for the origin of evil, the root of denial, and the basic human weakness that causes us to fear death.
Why Modern Feminism Is Illogical , Unnecessary, and Evil.
"Clearly, Saddam Hussein is evil," he declared during an Oct 24 anti-war "teach-in" at UC Irvine's Cross Cultural Center.
War-crimes prosecution means evil heads of state have no place to hide.
Twins of Evil fail to shock in fun , loud show.
Convenient service or evil incarnate .
Prosecutor labels Hirschfield 'evil' and ' incomprehensible '.
It's either a not-so-good sign or a necessary evil, but Nelly Furtado's forthcoming album 'The Spirit Indestructible ' has been bumped to a Sept 18 release date.
Stress, Spice and the Evils of Indigestion .
"There are few things wholly evil or wholly good," Abraham Lincoln said in a speech to the House of Representatives.
The Insidious Evils of 'Like' Culture.
America must "lead the world in battling immediate evils and promoting the ultimate good".

In science:

Esta interfaz está formada por todos los detalles del entorno actual, desde la observación (incluyendo incluso las recompensas) hasta el comportamiento de los agentes Good y Evil y su situación actual.
Analysis of first prototype universal intelligence tests: evaluating and comparing AI algorithms and humans
La imagen también muestra que el agente está situado en la celda 3, y Evil y Good se encuentran en las celdas 2 y 3 respectivamente.
Analysis of first prototype universal intelligence tests: evaluating and comparing AI algorithms and humans
Para seguir un orden, hemos establecido que el primer ob jeto siempre será el agente Good, el segundo ob jeto será el agente Evil y el tercer ob jeto será el agente que se está evaluando π (siendo en este caso el propio Q-learning)5 .
Analysis of first prototype universal intelligence tests: evaluating and comparing AI algorithms and humans
Los agentes Good y Evil siguen un mismo patrón de comportamiento en cada ejercicio.
Analysis of first prototype universal intelligence tests: evaluating and comparing AI algorithms and humans
Oráculo: Este agente puede ver de antemano las celdas a donde Good y Evil pretenden moverse en la siguiente interacción y, si Good pretende moverse a una celda directamente accesible por el agente, entonces su movimiento será moverse a esa celda.
Analysis of first prototype universal intelligence tests: evaluating and comparing AI algorithms and humans