: heinous \HAY-nus\ adjective
: hatefully or shockingly evil : abominable
The former dictator will have to stand trial for the role he played in his government’s heinous treatment of political dissidents.
“Oz so immediately takes to his new surroundings that he never once stops to question the giant, orchid-like flowers, spiraling rock formations or heinous flying baboons….” — From a movie review by Pier Marchant in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, March 8, 2013
Did you know?
Humans have contrasted love with hate and good with evil for eons, putting love and good on one side and hate and evil on the other. The etymology of “heinous” reflects the association of hate with that which is evil or horrible. During the 14th century, English borrowed “heinous” from the Middle French “haine,” meaning “hate.” Over time English speakers came to use the word to reflect the sense of horror evoked by intense hatred.
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