from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Grossly wicked or reprehensible; abominable: a heinous crime.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Totally reprehensible.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Hateful; hatefully bad; flagrant; odious; atrocious; giving great offense; -- applied to deeds or to character.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Hateful; odious; reprehensible.
  • Hence Reprehensibly great; enormous; aggravated: sometimes used (in a similar sense) of persons.
  • Synonyms Wicked, Infamous, etc. (see atrocious); flagitious, dreadful, horrible.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. extremely wicked, deeply criminal


Middle English, from Old French haineus, from haine, hatred, from hair, to hate, from Frankish *hatjan.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French haineus (compare French haineux) from haïr ("to hate"), of Germanic origin. (Wiktionary)



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  • An appropriately ugly word.

    July 19, 2007