Definition of vilify in English:


Pronunciation /ˈviləˌfī/ /ˈvɪləˌfaɪ/

See synonyms for vilify

Translate vilify into Spanish

transitive verbvilifies, vilifying, vilified

[with object]
  • Speak or write about in an abusively disparaging manner.

    ‘he has been vilified in the press’
    • ‘Those who dislike speech or publications vilifying certain groups should speak out in their defence, not use the law to punish unwelcome opinions.’
    • ‘When anybody calls their bluff and punctures this self-delusion, they can only cope by insulting and vilifying their critics.’
    • ‘You speak of democracy but vilify those that dare speak against your hero.’
    • ‘During the tour, the press vilified the rockers as bad-mouthed, loud, gaudy and unkempt.’
    • ‘He has been vilified, discredited and discarded in a manner usually reserved for world class failures.’
    • ‘And the final question, can we in our profession discuss these issues in a calm, mutually respectful way without criticizing, belittling or vilifying one another?’
    • ‘How long will it be before the French working class as a whole is vilified in this manner?’
    • ‘It's probably worth noting at this point that Raël has waged a long war on the media - vilifying them through press releases for publishing mean things about him.’
    • ‘The Essex-born player was vilified in the press and effigies of him were hung in streets.’
    • ‘The SPLA claims the raids were an attempt to defame and vilify teachers and demanded that the government discipline the inspectors involved.’
    • ‘At the same time this freedom can get used and abused to vilify the same government that helped to bring about our liberation.’
    • ‘They maligned and vilified him, and tried to inter the good that he did with his bones.’
    • ‘The SF president also launched attacks on the Government for trying to vilify the party but argued that while the peace process was in tatters, it could be rebuilt.’
    • ‘To vilify the ancient and heavenly act of smoking is to belittle one of life's most wicked and pleasurable of indulgences.’
    • ‘Shooters, hunters and firearms owners are frequently vilified by the general press.’
    • ‘As a result he was vilified by the right-wing press, which even published a copy of his birth certificate.’
    • ‘People should be supporting people like me, not vilifying me.’
    • ‘We should value our capitalist system without romanticizing it, and understand and try to mitigate its defects without vilifying it.’
    • ‘The fair-weather friends have evidently evaporated into thin air, effectively abandoning him and vilifying his illustrious name.’
    • ‘History books alternate between praising and vilifying him.’
    disparage, denigrate, defame, run down, revile, berate, belittle, abuse, insult, slight, attack, speak ill of, speak evil of, pour scorn on, cast aspersions on, criticize, censure, condemn, decry, denounce, pillory, lambast
    View synonyms


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘lower in value’): from late Latin vilificare, from Latin vilis ‘of low value’ (see vile).