Definition of heinous in US English:

heinous

adjective

  • (of a person or wrongful act, especially a crime) utterly odious or wicked.

    ‘a battery of heinous crimes’
    • ‘The pressure on companies to make money for their shareholders has led to some truly heinous acts, in my view.’
    • ‘Such sentiments have been fed by lurid newspaper stories of heinous crimes committed by non-Japanese.’
    • ‘Hence minorities were also targeted for committing various heinous crimes.’
    • ‘The candidate has to be involved in two separate cases of heinous crimes to attract disqualification.’
    • ‘Who were the planners and perpetrators of this cowardly and heinous crime?’
    • ‘Well some incredibly good things have come about because of it, but some heinous atrocities were carried out in its name.’
    • ‘Let's say you commit the heinous sin of dropping a cigarette end in the street in York.’
    • ‘Her angelic appearance and heinous crimes have made her an object of morbid public fascination.’
    • ‘How did they live with themselves, knowing they would commit such a heinous act?’
    • ‘And he committed his heinous crime right here, down this very country lane.’
    • ‘In this and other cases, it was an absolutist sense of superiority that allowed such heinous acts.’
    • ‘Also the list of heinous offences should be expanded to cover social and economic offences.’
    • ‘But his mind's eye isn't fraught with mournful replays of a life cut short by a heinous crime.’
    • ‘They feel that certain crimes are so heinous that executing the criminal is the only reasonable response.’
    • ‘The decision of the Home Secretary was based on the fact that some crimes are so heinous as to justify life imprisonment.’
    • ‘But to plan somebody's murder is a particularly heinous crime and I think few people would do that.’
    • ‘Yes, human life is the most sacred thing and taking other people's lives is a heinous act.’
    • ‘He might end up in prison, but, however long his sentence and however heinous his crime, his citizenship was secure.’
    • ‘What heinous sin had these women committed to be singled out for divine retribution?’
    • ‘This is why the death penalty is usually reserved for only the most heinous criminals.’
    odious, wicked, evil, atrocious, monstrous, disgraceful, abominable, detestable, contemptible, reprehensible, despicable, horrible, horrific, horrifying, terrible, awful, abhorrent, loathsome, outrageous, shocking, shameful, hateful, hideous, unspeakable, unpardonable, unforgivable, inexcusable, execrable, ghastly, iniquitous, villainous, nefarious, beneath contempt, beyond the pale
    View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English: from Old French haineus, from hair ‘to hate’, of Germanic origin.

Pronunciation

heinous

/ˈheɪnəs//ˈhānəs/