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 (dī′ə-bŏl′ĭ-kəl) also di·a·bol·ic (-ĭk)
1. Of, concerning, or characteristic of the devil; satanic.
2. Appropriate to a devil, especially in degree of wickedness or cruelty.

[From Middle English deabolik, from Old French diabolique, from Late Latin diabolicus, from Latin diabolus, devil; see devil.]

di′a·bol′i·cal·ly adv.
di′a·bol′i·cal·ness n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. of, relating to, or proceeding from the devil; satanic
2. befitting a devil; extremely cruel or wicked; fiendish
3. very difficult or unpleasant
[C14: from Late Latin diabolicus, from Greek diabolikos, from diabolos devil]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˌdaɪ əˈbɒl ɪk)

also di`a•bol′i•cal,

1. devilish; fiendish; outrageously wicked: diabolic acts.
2. pertaining to or actuated by a devil.
[1350–1400; diabolik (< Middle French) < Late Latin diabolicus < Greek diabolikós; see devil, -ic]
di′a•bol′i•cal•ly, adv.
di`a•bol′i•cal•ness, n.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.diabolic - showing the cunning or ingenuity or wickedness typical of a devildiabolic - showing the cunning or ingenuity or wickedness typical of a devil; "devilish schemes"; "the cold calculation and diabolic art of some statesmen"; "the diabolical expression on his face"; "a mephistophelian glint in his eye"
evil - morally bad or wrong; "evil purposes"; "an evil influence"; "evil deeds"
2.diabolic - extremely evil or crueldiabolic - extremely evil or cruel; expressive of cruelty or befitting hell; "something demonic in him--something that could be cruel"; "fires lit up a diabolic scene"; "diabolical sorcerers under the influence of devils"; "a fiendish despot"; "hellish torture"; "infernal instruments of war"; "satanic cruelty"; "unholy grimaces"
evil - morally bad or wrong; "evil purposes"; "an evil influence"; "evil deeds"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. satanic, demonic, hellish, devilish, infernal, fiendish, demoniac the diabolic forces which lurk in all violence
2. wicked, evil, cruel, vicious, monstrous, atrocious, fiendish, villainous, nefarious a life of diabolic depravity
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


Perversely bad, cruel, or wicked:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


[ˌdaɪəˈbɒlɪk] ADJ
1. [forces, powers] → diabólico
2. = diabolical 1
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


, diabolical
(form: = satanic) forcesdiabolisch (geh), → teuflisch; with diabolical cunningmit ungeheurer Gerissenheit; diabolic possessionBesessenheit fdurch den Teufel
(inf: = appalling) → entsetzlich; diabolical weatherSauwetter nt (inf)
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
References in classic literature ?
After years and years of experience the most trusty instrument of the sort that ever went to sea screwed on to a ship's cabin bulkhead will, almost invariably, be induced to rise by the diabolic ingenuity of the Easterly weather, just at the moment when the Easterly weather, discarding its methods of hard, dry, impassive cruelty, contemplates drowning what is left of your spirit in torrents of a peculiarly cold and horrid rain.
For all I know, the expression of these last may be perfectly diabolic. I shouldn't be surprised.
Now it was a herd of diabolic shapes, that grinned and mocked at the pale minister, and beckoned him away with them; now a group of shining angels, who flew upward heavily, as sorrow-laden, but grew more ethereal as they rose.
Leach and Johnson were the two particular victims of Wolf Larsen's diabolic temper, and the look of profound melancholy which had settled on Johnson's face and in his eyes made my heart bleed.
At the same time, the thin straight lines of the setting of the eyes, and the thin straight lips, and the markings in the nose, curved with a sarcasm that looked handsomely diabolic.
After having thus disengaged her brother and pushed the poor girl a little further off as it were--isn't women's cleverness perfectly diabolic when they are really put on their mettle?--after having done these things and also made me feel that I was no match for her, she went on scrupulously: "One doesn't like to use that word either.
When that admirable Department got into trouble, and was, by some infuriated members of Parliament whom the smaller Barnacles almost suspected of labouring under diabolic possession, attacked on the merits of no individual case, but as an Institution wholly abominable and Bedlamite; then the noble or right honourable Barnacle who represented it in the House, would smite that member and cleave him asunder, with a statement of the quantity of business (for the prevention of business) done by the Circumlocution Office.
All this without that diabolic aid which is surely to him.
But the fierce old hag began to get angry and show a glimpse of her diabolic nature (like a snake's head, peeping with a hiss out of her bosom), at this pusillanimous behavior of the thing which she had taken the trouble to put together.
But both the diabolic love and the unearthly hate of the mysteries it had penetrated fought for the possession of that soul satiated with primitive emotions, avid of lying fame, of sham dis- tinction, of all the appearances of success and power.
But every work of art, divine or diabolic, has one indispensable mark--I mean, that the centre of it is simple, however much the fulfilment may be complicated.
Lucifer-matches and all the present facilities for getting acquainted with fire were then unknown--the very name of phosphorus had something diabolic in it to the boy-mind; so Tom's ally, at the cost of a sound flogging, earned what many older folk covet much--the very decided fear of most of his companions.