American English

Definition of evil noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[uncountable] a force that causes bad things to happen; morally bad behavior the eternal struggle between good and evil the forces of evil You can't pretend there's no evil in the world. opposite good
  2. 2[countable, usually plural] a bad or harmful thing; the bad effect of something the evils of drugs/alcohol social evils
  3. Idioms
    the lesser of two evils, the lesser evil
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    the less unpleasant of two unpleasant choices
    a necessary evil
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    a thing that is bad or that you do not like but which you must accept for a particular reason The loss of jobs is regarded as a necessary evil in the fight against inflation.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: evil

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