Wickedness goes way past being naughty or mischievous; it means a quality of true evil. In an old spy movie, the villain might reveal his wickedness by cackling with delight while carrying out dastardly plans.

A tyrant's cruel treatment of citizens is evidence of wickedness, while literary antagonists like Shakespeare's Lady Macbeth and Voldemort from the Harry Potter series display their wickedness through many vicious actions. Wickedness and wicked come from a now-obsolete adjective, wick, meaning "bad or false," and an Old English root it shares with wizard and witch.

Definitions of wickedness

n the quality of being wicked

nefariousness, ugliness, vileness
moral corruption or pollution
the quality of extreme wickedness
Type of:
evil, evilness
the quality of being morally wrong in principle or practice

n estrangement from god

sin, sinfulness
mark of Cain
the mark that God set upon Cain now refers to a person's sinful nature
Type of:
failure to adhere to moral principles

n absence of moral or spiritual values

dark, darkness, iniquity
disgusting wickedness and immorality
Type of:
condition, status
a state at a particular time

n morally objectionable behavior

evil, immorality, iniquity
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devilry, deviltry
wicked and cruel behavior
foul play
unfair or dishonest behavior (especially involving violence)
irreverence, violation
a disrespectful act
sexual immorality
the evil ascribed to sexual acts that violate social conventions
blasphemy, desecration, profanation, sacrilege
blasphemous behavior; the act of depriving something of its sacred character
Type of:
evildoing, transgression
the act of transgressing; the violation of a law or a duty or moral principle

n the quality of being disgusting to the senses or emotions

loathsomeness, lousiness, repulsiveness, sliminess, vileness
Type of:
distastefulness, odiousness, offensiveness
the quality of being offensive

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