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.’
    • ‘Well some incredibly good things have come about because of it, but some heinous atrocities were carried out in its name.’
    • ‘Her angelic appearance and heinous crimes have made her an object of morbid public fascination.’
    • ‘Hence minorities were also targeted for committing various heinous crimes.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘The candidate has to be involved in two separate cases of heinous crimes to attract disqualification.’
    • ‘The decision of the Home Secretary was based on the fact that some crimes are so heinous as to justify life imprisonment.’
    • ‘Such sentiments have been fed by lurid newspaper stories of heinous crimes committed by non-Japanese.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Let's say you commit the heinous sin of dropping a cigarette end in the street in York.’
    • ‘This is why the death penalty is usually reserved for only the most heinous criminals.’
    • ‘And he committed his heinous crime right here, down this very country lane.’
    • ‘Yes, human life is the most sacred thing and taking other people's lives is a heinous act.’
    • ‘But to plan somebody's murder is a particularly heinous crime and I think few people would do that.’
    • ‘They feel that certain crimes are so heinous that executing the criminal is the only reasonable response.’
    • ‘Who were the planners and perpetrators of this cowardly and heinous crime?’
    • ‘But his mind's eye isn't fraught with mournful replays of a life cut short by a heinous crime.’
    • ‘How did they live with themselves, knowing they would commit such a heinous act?’
    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/