(the following is from the Merriam-Webster's dictionary.)
Pronunciation: 'E-v&l, British often and US also 'E-(")vil
Inflected Form(s): evil·er or evil·ler; evil·est or evil·lest
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English yfel; akin to Old High German ubil evil
1 a : morally reprehensible : SINFUL, WICKED (an evil impulse) b : arising from actual or imputed bad character or conduct (a man of evil reputation)
2 a archaic : INFERIOR b : causing discomfort or repulsion : OFFENSIVE (an evil odor) c : DISAGREEABLE (woke late and in an evil temper)
3 a : causing harm : PERNICIOUS (the evil institution of slavery) b : marked by misfortune : UNLUCKY
1 a : the fact of suffering, misfortune, and wrongdoing b : a cosmic evil force
2 : something that brings sorrow, distress, or calamity
(The following is from The American Heritage Dictionary:)
The antithesis of good. The philosophical problem of evil is most simply stated in the question, why does evil exist in the world? Death, disease, and sin are often included in the problem. Traditional Christian belief ascribes evil to the misdeeds of humans, to whom God has granted free will. The Christian systems that believe in predestination and justification by faith claim, like their Christian opponents, that God is still not the author of the evil men do. One explanation of evil is dualism, as in Zoroastrianism and Manichaeism. In optimism evil is treated often as more apparent than real. The book of Job is a literary treatment of the problem. 1
See R. Taylor, Good and Evil (1970); F. Sontag, The God of Evil (1970); R. Stivers, Evil in Modern Myth and Ritual (1982); D. Parkin, ed., The Anthropology of Evil (1987).
(the following is from Dictionary.com:)
e·vil Audio pronunciation of "evil" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (vl)
adj. e·vil·er, e·vil·est
1. Morally bad or wrong; wicked: an evil tyrant.
2. Causing ruin, injury, or pain; harmful: the evil effects of a poor diet.
3. Characterized by or indicating future misfortune; ominous: evil omens.
4. Bad or blameworthy by report; infamous: an evil reputation.
5. Characterized by anger or spite; malicious: an evil temper.
1. The quality of being morally bad or wrong; wickedness.
2. That which causes harm, misfortune, or destruction: a leader's power to do both good and evil.
3. An evil force, power, or personification.
4. Something that is a cause or source of suffering, injury, or destruction: the social evils of poverty and injustice.
In an evil manner.
[Middle English, from Old English yfel. See wap- in Indo-European Roots.]
What are the contradictions (if any) in the above definitions? What is your personal definition of "evil", and how have you reached that definition?