wickedness

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
  1. noun
    the quality of being wicked
    synonyms: nefariousness, ugliness, vileness
    see moresee less
    types:
    filthiness
    moral corruption or pollution
    enormity
    the quality of extreme wickedness
    type of:
    evil, evilness
    the quality of being morally wrong in principle or practice
  2. noun
    estrangement from god
    synonyms: sin, sinfulness
    see moresee less
    types:
    mark of Cain
    the mark that God set upon Cain now refers to a person's sinful nature
    type of:
    unrighteousness
    failure to adhere to moral principles
  3. noun
    absence of moral or spiritual values
    synonyms: dark, darkness, iniquity
    see moresee less
    types:
    foulness
    disgusting wickedness and immorality
    type of:
    condition, status
    a state at a particular time
  4. noun
    morally objectionable behavior
    synonyms: evil, immorality, iniquity
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 5 types...
    hide 5 types...
    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
  5. noun
    the quality of being disgusting to the senses or emotions
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week