tr.v. vil·i·fied, vil·i·fy·ing, vil·i·fies
To attack the reputation of (a person or thing) with strong or abusive criticism. See Synonyms at malign.
[Middle English vilifien, from Late Latin vīlificāre, to hold cheap : Latin vīlis, cheap; see wes-3 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots + Latin -ficāre, -fy.]
vil′i·fi·cation (-fĭ-kāshən) n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.