Merriam-Webster Word of the Day: Nefarious

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The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day is nefarious. Read on for what it means, how it’s used, and more.

What It Means

Nefarious means “evil” or “flagrantly wicked or impious.”

// Unsurprisingly, the movie’s villain has a nefarious plot to dominate the world.

NEFARIOUS in Context

“Evil Dave’s Grill. The name of this grill isn’t a nod to anyone nefarious; it’s a cheeky reference to the wicked dishes on its dinner-only menu.” — Claudia Laroye, The Toronto Star, 1 Apr. 2022

Did You Know?

Nefarious comes from the Latin adjective nefarius and the Latin noun nefas, which means “crime.” Nefas is a combination of ne- (“not”) and fas, meaning “right” or “divine law.”

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