vilify | vilification

Exam frequency



Civil Services





spread negative information about somebody/something

Check Icon How to Memorize

vilify - make villain

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To ‘vilify’ means to say or write slanderous or abusive statements about somebody or something. The goal of such an action is to damage their reputation and make others think badly of them. A good way to remember how to correctly use this formal word is to think that if you ‘vilify’ somebody, you make them a ‘villain’.

Synonyms defame

Check Icon Example(s)

  1. The media is so quick to vilify people these days because balance and nuance does nothing for ratings or circulation.

  2. I was vilified in an attempt to force me to resign after the scandal, but I refused to back down because I knew I was innocent.

  3. The dictatorship’s relentless vilification of that group of people through the use of propaganda laid the foundations for the eventual genocide.

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