• WordNet 3.6
    • adj nefarious extremely wicked "nefarious schemes","a villainous plot","a villainous band of thieves"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • a Nefarious Wicked in the extreme; abominable; iniquitous; atrociously villainous; execrable; detestably vile.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • nefarious Wicked in the extreme; heinous; abominable; atrociously sinful or villainous; detestably vile.
    • nefarious Synonyms Nefarious, Execrable, Flagitious, Enormous, Villainous, Abominable, Horrible, atrocious, infamous, iniquitous, impious, dreadful, detestable. The first seven words characterize extreme wickedness. As with the words under atrocious, when loosely used they approach each other in meaning; hence only their primary meanings will be indicated here: nefarious, unspeakably wicked, impious; execrable, worthy of execration or cursing, utterly hateful; flagitious, proceeding from burning desire (as lust), grossly or brutally wicked or vile, enormous, not common in this sense except with a strong noun, as enormous wickedness, but sometimes meaning wicked beyond common measure; villainous, worthy of a villain, greatly criminal or capable of great crimes; abominable, loathsome in wickedness, the object of a religious detestation; horrible, exciting horror, mental agitation, or shrinking; shocking: it is less common as applied to moral conduct, See abandoned, atrocious, criminal, and irreligious.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Nefarious nē-fā′ri-us impious: extremely wicked: villainous
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. nefarius, fr. nefas, crime, wrong; ne, not + fas, divine law; akin to fari, to speak. See No (adv.), and Fate
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. nefarius, contrary to divine law—ne, not, fas, divine law, prob. from fāri, to speak.


In literature:

It is the duty of patriotic Swedes to thwart this nefarious project.
"England and Germany" by Emile Joseph Dillon
Rathburn looked dangerous; and what was more sinister, he went about his nefarious business in a cool, calm, confident manner.
"The Coyote" by James Roberts
He had spent most of his life in thus waiting and watching the nefarious schemes of unscrupulous men.
"The Golden Woman" by Ridgwell Cullum
They were probably out on the trail pursuing their nefarious calling.
"The Twins of Suffering Creek" by Ridgwell Cullum
Of these betrayers the chief is the round-leaved sun-dew, which plies its nefarious vocation all the way from Labrador to Florida.
"Little Masterpieces of Science:" by Various
We have now the agent of this nefarious enterprise, but we must seek for the actual culprit.
"Gomez Arias" by Joaquín Telesforo de Trueba y Cosío
But however clear Peter Ledgard's nefarious intentions might be, Hugo confessed his sister-in-law puzzled him.
"Jan and Her Job" by L. Allen Harker
What does it mean when not a single Denver paper publishes a line about three nefarious telephone bills before the Colorado Legislature?
"Commercialism and Journalism" by Hamilton Holt
Just as though respectable people could not engage in a nefarious business.
"The Arena" by Various
In General Harrison's day, he endeavored time and time again to stop this nefarious traffic.
"The Land of the Miamis" by Elmore Barce

In poetry:

"I fear to die;"--"Let not your spirits sink,
You're always safe, while you believe and drink."
How strange to add, in this nefarious trade,
That men of parts are dupes by dunces made:
That creatures, nature meant should clean our
"The Borough. Letter VII: Professions--Physic" by George Crabbe
I'd rejoice if someone dug a
Deep, wide grave at Mugga Mugga
And interred all Canberranters, minus service, sob or stone -
All nefarious State-Frighters!
Yassinine old nation-blighters!
Nay; I'd lug a Mugga-fighter there and plant him on my own!
"Mugga Mugga" by C J Dennis

In news:

You might think it's just some kind of nefarious plot to figure out a way to get.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – There was nothing nefarious here.
1 introduced comic fans to Calvin, a young circus escape artist recruited into the Court's nefarious plans as one of their killer Talons but bolts when he's ordered to murder a woman and her child.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement says 'Project Nefarious' led to more than 600 arrests nationwide.
In rare cases, a reporter commits intentional media malpractice by letting nefarious motives trample reality.
Some of the candidates are running ads that intimate that their opponents have a nefarious reason for trying to defeat them.
Pam Geller, the blogger who warned America about nefarious Shariah turkeys, strikes again.
The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, known as CISPA aims to address the threat of cybercrime aimed at US companies and institutions by nefarious countries and groups.
Canadian musician Michael Cera must battle it out with his new girlfriend's seven nefarious ex-boyfriends before they can live happily ever after in director Edgar Wright's wildly original comic-book romance.
Eighteen months ago Jamie Grove joined ThinkGeek as the online retailer's director of evil schemes and nefarious plans—a job most retailers call director of marketing.
I realize I am unlikely to uncover a nefarious plot to secretly dump toxic waste.
With that aging population come the predators who single out older victims for their nefarious swindles.
There's always some nefarious Obama plot afoot to aid the terrorists and undermine America.
In fact, what I'm about to say could put me in league with various nefarious salespeople who either push placebo medicines or schlocky automobiles.
Healing the Nefarious Heel Slip.

In science:

Suppose you have some amount of one dollar bills and the Devil approaches you in a nefarious underground bar.
Zeno meets modern science
Indeed, it is evident that relativist extremism has a nefarious capacity to appropriate the language of the exact sciences.
The Latest on the Sokal Affair: Beyond Three Extremisms