A heinous crime is very evil or wicked. Of course, some people only use the term as an exaggeration, claiming that their parents' requirement that they write thank you notes after their birthdays is a heinous form of torture.

Heinous descends from Middle English, from Old French haineus, from haine "hatred," from hair "to hate." So when you want to use the word heinous in all seriousness, think of acts that are considered hateful (or outrageous, and shocking). Think: treason, torture, the clubbing of baby seals. Heinous is pronounced HĀ-nəs.

Definitions of heinous
  1. adjective
    extremely wicked, deeply criminal
    heinous accusations”
    synonyms: flagitious
    morally bad in principle or practice
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘heinous'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
Word Family

Look up heinous for the last time

Close your vocabulary gaps with personalized learning that focuses on teaching the words you need to know.

VocabTrainer -'s Vocabulary Trainer