Definition of diabolic in English:



  • Relating to or characteristic of the Devil.

    ‘the darkness of a diabolic world’
    • ‘Another disappointment was the Morris dance; when the Dog played the fiddle, a red light shone on the cast, and the diabolic music bent and distorted them into odd positions.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, the acting, singing and music were consistently superb and the attention never wavered as the diabolic possession of the two children slowly unfolded.’
    • ‘Acceptance of at least the possibility of diabolic or angelic intervention was common among the intelligentsia in the second half of the seventeenth century.’
    • ‘That diabolic power took hold of me, my body was trembling and my mind invaded by vivid images.’
    • ‘Despite the diabolic nature of this prank, I felt that over the year we really did build something between us, so I refused to give up on the relationship.’
    • ‘To justify an attack on the powerless, you have first to attribute to them a diabolic malevolence that must be avenged.’
    • ‘We are shown and recognize these limits in the Dindenault episode, where Panurge as the Devil commits the ultimate diabolic act and violates standards of human dignity and human morality.’
    • ‘When the diabolic Grissom and his cohorts slip their restraints and hijack the plane, the authorities are left chasing their tails on the ground.’
    • ‘In this diabolic account of our state, such figures as Alastair Campbell naturally become vastly important.’
    • ‘It felt as though the plane was being dangled on some diabolic string, tweaked from above just to tease us.’
    • ‘Mr. Menon - who scripts, directs and produces the film - appears to have understood the diabolic side of globalisation much better than any of our contemporary Malayalam film-makers.’
    • ‘Thus he is the very devil of the Cartesian universe, exploiting his own diabolic extrapolation of the cogito.’
    • ‘The possibility of diabolic possession was rarely considered.’
    • ‘It is important to remember, of course, that many confessions of diabolic intercourse were the product of torture and leading questioning, and probably had no basis in actual sleep disturbances.’
    • ‘For a start, I don't believe that humanity is diabolic (although we often do diabolical things to each other), and I reckon we're all spiritual beings.’
    • ‘Today, the Roman Catholic Church still believes in diabolic possession and its priests still practice what is called ‘real exorcism,’ a 27-page ritual to drive out evil spirits.’
    • ‘For a literary parallel, we will have to imagine Desdemona surviving her asphyxiation by Othello and teaming up with the diabolic Iago in a bizarre sequel to Shakespeare's ‘Othello’!’
    • ‘‘Then I shall tell father you are reading those books again,’ he said pointing to the books as if they were diabolic.’
    • ‘If their diabolic intent was to systematically convert some of the most exciting, cutting-edge music of recent years into a dull migraine thud, they couldn't have done a more ruthlessly efficient job.’
    • ‘It is also notable that A Yorkshire Tragedy takes the idea of diabolic possession very seriously.’
    devilish, fiendish, satanic, mephistophelian, demonic, demoniacal, hellish, infernal, evil, wicked, ungodly, unholy
    View synonyms


Late Middle English: from Old French diabolique or ecclesiastical Latin diabolicus, from diabolus ‘devil’.