Evil is a term describing things regarded as morally bad, intrinsically corrupt, wantonly destructive, inhumane, or wicked. While the term is not used solely in the religious sense, its origins are generally religious, with evil's Earthly presence generally thought to originate through the influence of Satan. As a result, evil and acts of evil have been strongly condemned by Christian and other religious leaders, who see the world engaged in a battle between the forces of Godly-inspired good and Satanically-inspired evil.

Example Usages Of Evil In English Language Public Domain Literature

In the book : The Adventure of the Dying Detective #20 in the series by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle "Well, Watson, we seem to have fallen upon evil days," said he in a feeble voice, but with something of his old carelessness of manner.

In the book : Diary of a Pilgrimage, by Jerome K. Jerome #17 in the series by Jerome K. Jerome From which particular berth, in that dimly-lighted, evil - smelling place, it proceeded nobody was quite sure.

In the book : The Day's Work/Part I, by Kipling #8 in the series by Rudyard Kipling " The Buck made no movement as he answered: "How long has this evil been? A new word creeping from mouth to mouth among the Common Folk - a word that neither man nor God can lay hold of - an evil word - a little lazy word among the Common Folk, saying (and none know who set that word afoot) that they weary of ye, Heavenly Ones. For why should Jan Chinn make evil to those whom he has made men? The Governor told the crew that they were evil , and they asked for food.

In the book : The Education of Henry Adams, by Adams Resistance to something was the law of New England nature; the boy looked out on the world with the instinct of resistance; for numberless generations his predecessors had viewed the world chiefly as a thing to be reformed, filled with evil forces to be abolished, and they saw no reason to suppose that they had wholly succeeded in the abolition; the duty was unchanged. That duty implied not only resistance to evil , but hatred of it. France was the wicked spirit of moral politics, and whatever helped France must be so far evil . At that time Austria was another evil spirit. Men fled them as though they had the evil eye. The utmost flight of anarchy seemed to have stopped with the assertion of two principles, and even these fitted into each other, like good and evil , light and darkness. The emperors used it like gunpowder in politics; the physicians used it like rays in medicine; the dying clung to it as the quintessence of force, to protect them from the forces of evil on their road to the next life. Had the Manichean doctrine of Good and evil as rival deities been orthodox, it would alone have accounted for this simultaneous victory of hostile powers. They belong to the spiritual world; or to the doubtful ground of Magic which lay between Good and evil .

In the book : The Mutiny of the "Elsinore", by Jack London #88 in the series by Jack London She had always lived; her red blood sang to her only that she would always live and that nothing evil would ever happen to her glorious personality. "'Life is no longer good or evil .

In the book : Emma, by Jane Austen****** The evil of the actual disparity in their ages (and Mr. She must abide by the evil of having refused him, whatever it may be; and as to the refusal itself, I will not pretend to say that I might not influence her a little; but I assure you there was very little for me or for any body to do. And as for objects of interest, objects for the affections, which is in truth the great point of inferiority, the want of which is really the great evil to be avoided in not marrying, I shall be very well off, with all the children of a sister I love so much, to care about. Woodhouse was rather agitated by such harsh reflections on his friend Perry, to whom he had, in fact, though unconsciously, been attributing many of his own feelings and expressions;-- but the soothing attentions of his daughters gradually removed the present evil , and the immediate alertness of one brother, and better recollections of the other, prevented any renewal of it. Every part of it brought pain and humiliation, of some sort or other; but, compared with the evil to Harriet, all was light; and she would gladly have submitted to feel yet more mistaken-- more in error--more disgraced by mis-judgment, than she actually was, could the effects of her blunders have been confined to herself. Emma got up on the morrow more disposed for comfort than she had gone to bed, more ready to see alleviations of the evil before her, and to depend on getting tolerably out of it. But with all the hopes of cheerfulness, and all the present comfort of delay, there was still such an evil hanging over her in the hour of explanation with Harriet, as made it impossible for Emma to be ever perfectly at ease. " "I will say no more about him," cried Emma, "you turn every thing to evil . The evil day was put off. Her height was pretty, just such as almost every body would think tall, and nobody could think very tall; her figure particularly graceful; her size a most becoming medium, between fat and thin, though a slight appearance of ill-health seemed to point out the likeliest evil of the two. Goddard's, her evil stars had led her to the very spot where, at that moment, a trunk, directed to The Rev. He could be no judge, however, of the evil he was holding cheap. " "If it would be good to her, I am sure it would be evil to himself; a very shameful and degrading connexion. She could see nothing but evil in it. Weston, always alert when business was to be done, and as incapable of procrastinating any evil that was inevitable, as of foreseeing any that was doubtful, said, "It was time to go;" and the young man, though he might and did sigh, could not but agree, to take leave. evi l to some is always good to others. " It was well to have a comfort in store on Harriet's behalf, though it might be wise to let the fancy touch it seldom; for evil in that quarter was at hand. " "The evil of the distance from Enscombe," said Mr. The time of year lightened the evil to him. She depended on the evil feelings of the Eltons for supplying all the discipline of pointed neglect that could be farther requisite. --However, I assure you, Miss Woodhouse, I wish her no evil . He very much feared that Miss Fairfax derived more evil than good from them. --Her days of insignificance and evil were over. Why was the evil so dreadfully increased by Harriet's having some hope of a return? Her voice was not unsteady; but her mind was in all the perturbation that such a development of self, such a burst of threatening evil , such a confusion of sudden and perplexing emotions, must create. She had brought evil on Harriet, on herself, and she too much feared, on Mr. One natural consequence of the evil she had involved herself in," she said, "was that of making her unreasonable. Weston, if there were an account drawn up of the evil and the good I have done Miss Fairfax! Of all the sources of evil surrounding the former, since her coming to Highbury, she was persuaded that she must herself have been the worst. --Could he have seen the heart, he would have cared very little for the lungs; but without the most distant imagination of the impending evil , without the slightest perception of any thing extraordinary in the looks or ways of either, he repeated to them very comfortably all the articles of news he had received from Mr. -- At any rate, it would be a proof of attention and kindness in herself, from whom every thing was due; a separation for the present; an averting of the evil day, when they must all be together again. No additional agitation should be thrown at this period among those she loved-- and the evil should not act on herself by anticipation before the appointed time. His situation is an evil --but you must consider it as what satisfies your friend; and I will answer for your thinking better and better of him as you know him more.

In the book : Essay on Man by Alexander Pope #1 in the series by Alexander Pope All nature is but art, unknown to thee; All chance, direction, which thou canst not see; All discord, harmony not understood; All partial evil , universal good: And, spite of pride in erring reason's spite, One truth is clear, whatever is, is right. Self-love and reason to one end aspire, Pain their aversion, pleasure their desire; But greedy that, its object would devour, This taste the honey, and not wound the flower: Pleasure, or wrong or rightly understood, Our greatest evil , or our greatest good. Both fairly owning Riches, in effect, No grace of Heaven or token of th' elect; Given to the fool, the mad, the vain, the evil , To Ward, to Waters, Chartres, and the devil. " When golden angels cease to cure the evil , You give all royal witchcraft to the devil; When servile chaplains cry, that birth and place Endure a peer with honour, truth, and grace, Look in that breast, most dirty D----!

In the book : etext, Further Adventures of Lad, by Albert Payson Terhune Evi l little puffs of gale stirred the powdery snow into myriads of tiny dancing white devils. Its ears were flattened close to its evil head. Oftener than not they would stand, braced, and glare at the oncoming collie from out their evil little red-rimmed eyes; the snouts above the hideous masked tushes quivering avidly.

In the book : The Federalist Papers.* ***** 11 This passage, at the same time, points out the evil and suggests the REMEDY. The smallness of the army renders the natural strength of the community an over-match for it; and the citizens, not habituated to look up to the military power for protection, or to submit to its oppressions, neither love nor fear the soldiery; they view them with a spirit of jealous acquiescence in a necessary evil , and stand ready to resist a power which they suppose may be exerted to the prejudice of their rights. In addition to all this, there is, in the nature of sovereign power, an impatience of control, that disposes those who are invested with the exercise of it, to look with an evil eye upon all external attempts to restrain or direct its operations. If opposition to the national government should arise from the disorderly conduct of refractory or seditious individuals, it could be overcome by the same means which are daily employed against the same evil under the State governments. This, however, is an evil inseparable from the principle of quotas and requisitions. But it is an evil infinitely less likely to attend us in a united than in a disunited state; nay, it may be safely asserted that it is an evil altogether unlikely to attend us in the latter situation. An irregular and mutable legislation is not more an evil in itself than it is odious to the people; and it may be pronounced with assurance that the people of this country, enlightened as they are with regard to the nature, and interested, as the great body of them are, in the effects of good government, will never be satisfied till some remedy be applied to the vicissitudes and uncertainties which characterize the State administrations. It may display the subtlety of the writer; it may open a boundless field for rhetoric and declamation; it may inflame the passions of the unthinking, and may confirm the prejudices of the misthinking: but cool and candid people will at once reflect, that the purest of human blessings must have a portion of alloy in them; that the choice must always be made, if not of the lesser evil , at least of the GREATER, not the PERFECT, good; and that in every political institution, a power to advance the public happiness involves a discretion which may be misapplied and abused. The sources of evil in the latter are confined to her own limits. The opposition of the federal government, or the interposition of federal officers, would but inflame the zeal of all parties on the side of the State, and the evil could not be prevented or repaired, if at all, without the employment of means which must always be resorted to with reluctance and difficulty. There are but two methods of providing against this evil  : the one by creating a will in the community independent of the majority that is, of the society itself; the other, by comprehending in the society so many separate descriptions of citizens as will render an unjust combination of a majority of the whole very improbable, if not impracticable. So far as that construction may expose the Union to the possibility of injury from the State legislatures, it is an evil  ; but it is an evil which could not have been avoided without excluding the States, in their political capacities, wholly from a place in the organization of the national government. But however wise it may have been to have submitted in this instance to an inconvenience, for the attainment of a necessary advantage or a greater good, no inference can be drawn from thence to favor an accumulation of the evil , where no necessity urges, nor any greater good invites. Under this alternative, the advice of prudence must be to embrace the lesser evil  ; and, instead of indulging a fruitless anticipation of the possible mischiefs which may ensue, to contemplate rather the advantageous consequences which may qualify the sacrifice. This evil was not least to be dreaded in the election of a magistrate, who was to have so important an agency in the administration of the government as the President of the United States. In the legislature, promptitude of decision is oftener an evil than a benefit. The circumstances which may have led to any national miscarriage or misfortune are sometimes so complicated that, where there are a number of actors who may have had different degrees and kinds of agency, though we may clearly see upon the whole that there has been mismanagement, yet it may be impracticable to pronounce to whose account the evil which may have been incurred is truly chargeable. In the legislature, promptitude of decision is oftener an evil than a benefit. The circumstances which may have led to any national miscarriage or misfortune are sometimes so complicated that, where there are a number of actors who may have had different degrees and kinds of agency, though we may clearly see upon the whole that there has been mismanagement, yet it may be impracticable to pronounce to whose account the evil which may have been incurred is truly chargeable. Let us suppose that by the laws of this State a married woman was incapable of conveying her estate, and that the legislature, considering this as an evil , should enact that she might dispose of her property by deed executed in the presence of a magistrate. And as a remedy for this fatal evil he is everywhere peculiarly emphatical in his encomiums on the habeas-corpus act, which in one place he calls ``the BULWARK of the British Constitution.

In the book : Louisa May Alcott's Flower Fables. Through the crowd there came a little form, a wreath of pure white violets lay among the bright locks that fell so softly round the gentle face, where a deep blush glowed, as, kneeling at the throne, little Violet said:-- "Dear Queen, we have bent to the Frost-King's power, we have borne gifts unto his pride, but have we gone trustingly to him and spoken fearlessly of his evil deeds? Brightly they bloomed and danced in the soft light, and the Frost-Spirits tried in vain to harm them, for when they came beneath the bright clouds their power to do evil left them. No drooping stem or withered leaf tells of any evil thought within their fragrant bosoms, and thus from the fairest of their race have they gathered this sweet dew, as a token of their gratitude to one whose tenderness and care have kept them pure and happy; and this, the loveliest of their sisters, have I brought to place among the Fairy flowers that never pass away. Some learned how by pleasant dreams to cheer and comfort mortal hearts, by whispered words bf love to save from evil deeds those who had gone astray, to fill young hearts with gentle thoughts and pure affections, that no sin might mar the beauty of the human flower; while others, like mortal children, learned the Fairy alphabet. Thus the Elves made loving friends by care and love, and no evil thing could harm them, for those they helped to cherish and protect ever watched to shield and save them. Nor did this make her vain and heedless of others; she humb]y dwelt among them, seeking to do all the good she might; and many a houseless bird and hungry insect that Thistledown had harmed did she feed and shelter, and in return no evil could befall her, for so many friends were all about her, seeking to repay her tenderness and love by their watchful care. Then he chased the bright winged flies, and wounded them with the sharp thorn he carried for a sword; he broke the spider's shining webs, lamed the birds, and soon wherever he passed lay wounded insects and drooping flowers; while the winds carried the tidings over the garden, and bird and blossom looked upon him as an evil spirit, and fled away or closed their leaves, lest he should harm them. But at length he grew weary of the gentle birds, and wild-flowers, and sought new pleasure in destroying the beauty he was tired of; and soon the friends who had so kindly welcomed him looked upon him as an evil spirit, and shrunk away as he approached. But few believed him; for they remembered his false promises and evil deeds, and would not trust him now; so poor Thistle found few to love or care for him. "You have done well," said he, "we hear good tidings of you from bird and flower, and you are truly seeking to repair the evil you have done. And not only birds and flowers blessed them, but human beings also; for with tender hands they guided little children from danger, and kept their young hearts free from evil thoughts; they whispered soothing words to the sick, and brought sweet odors and fair flowers to their lonely rooms. Should evil befall you, our hearts would break. The magic flower was ringing its soft warning, but she paid no heed to anything, save her own troubled thoughts; thus she sat, when suddenly a low voice whispered in her ear,-- "Little Annie, look and see the evil things that you are cherishing; I will clothe in fitting shapes the thoughts and feelings that now dwell within your heart, and you shall see how great their power becomes, unless you banish them for ever. Clearer and brighter grew the radiant light, till the evil spirits turned away to the dark shadow of the wall, and left the child alone. Thus little Annie worked and hoped, till one by one the evil spirits fled away, and in their place came shining forms, with gentle eyes and smiling lips, who gathered round her with such loving words, and brought such strength and joy to Annie's heart, that nothing evil dared to enter in; while slowly sank the gloomy wall, and, over wreaths of fragrant flowers, she passed out into the pleasant world again, the fairy gift no longer pale and drooping, but now shining like a star upon her breast.

In the book : etext, The Golden Fleece and the Heroes Who Lived Before Achilles, by Padraic Colum May nothing evil befall thee, brave youth! The evil that Athamas, your father, did you lives to be a curse to the line of Aeolus! " Then said Demeter: "Foolish indeed are you mortals, and not able to foresee what is to come to you of good or of evil ," "Foolish indeed are you, Metaneira, for in your heedlessness you have cut off this child from an immortality like to the immortality of the gods themselves. " Aeetes, as he spoke, looked sharply upon Phrontis and Melas, for he suspected them of having returned to Aea, bringing these armed men with them, with an evil intent. We have not come with such evil intent as you think. Ah, it was the evil command of an evil king that sent me forth with these companions of mine across dangerous gulfs of the sea, and to face your wrath and the armed men you can bring against us. King Aegeus was old and fearful now: there were wars and troubles in the city; besides, there was in his palace an evil woman, a witch, to whom the king listened. All this Theseus now heard, learning for the first time that behind the wars and troubles in Athens there was a deed of evil that Aegeus, his father, had some guilt in. It clawed and tore him, and it opened wide its most evil mouth as if to draw him into it. An evil thing you have done, leaving me to drown in the middle of the pond. Medea looked upon him, and the helplessness that he showed made her want to work a greater evil upon him, or, if not upon him, upon his house.

In the book : The Filigree Ball, Anna Katherine Green #4 in the series by Anna Katherine Green A lifeless man, lying outstretched on a certain hearthstone, might be found once in a house and awaken no special comment; but when this same discovery has been made twice, if not thrice, during the history of a single dwelling, one might surely be pardoned a distrust of its seemingly home-like appointments, and discern in its slowly darkening walls the presence of an evil which if left to itself might perish in the natural decay of the e place, but which, if met and challenged, might strike again and make another blot on its thrice-crimsoned hearthstone. What was there in this old picture to arouse such curiosity in one bent on evil if not fresh from a hideous crime? No doubt he had me at a disadvantage, if evil was in his heart, and my position on the hearth was as dangerous as previous events had proved it to be. She wished to see if his pistol was still there, or if it had been taken away by her sister, - a revelation of the extreme point to which her thoughts had flown at this crisis, and one which effectually contradicted her former statement that she had been conscious of no alarm in behalf of her sister and had seen her leave the house without dread or suspicion of evil . Or that the shadow which fell upon her on that evil day never left her till she gave herself wholly up to its influence and returned to die on the spot made awful by her own crime. So, in an evil day, and when I was just eighteen, I fell in love, or thought I did, with a man - (Oh, Francis, imagine it, now that I have seen you!

In the book : The Flag-Raising, by Kate Douglas Wiggin #14 in the series by Kate Douglas Wiggin " Jane's frame of mind was naturally depressed and timorous, having been affected by Miranda's gloomy presages of evil to come.

In the book : s Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971** 11th, 17- You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings. But I have one want which I have never yet been able to satisfy, and the absence of the object of which I now feel as a most severe evil , I have no friend, Margaret: when I am glowing with the enthusiasm of success, there will be none to participate my joy; if I am assailed by disappointment, no one will endeavour to sustain me in dejection. But it is a still greater evil to me that I am self-educated: for the first fourteen years of my life I ran wild on a common and read nothing but our Uncle Thomas' books of voyages. It was thus that I was to be taught to associate evil with their prosecution, happiness with their disregard. I need not describe the feelings of those whose dearest ties are rent by that most irreparable evil , the void that presents itself to the soul, and the despair that is exhibited on the countenance. These are the reflections of the first days; but when the lapse of time proves the reality of the evil , then the actual bitterness of grief commences. Chance--or rather the evil influence, the Angel of Destruction, which asserted omnipotent sway over me from the moment I turned my reluctant steps from my father's door--led me first to M. The picture appeared a vast and dim scene of evil , and I foresaw obscurely that I was destined to become the most wretched of human beings. But I did not feel the inconvenience of the weather; my imagination was busy in scenes of evil and despair. In an evil hour I subscribed to a lie; and now only am I truly miserable. Sleep fled from my eyes; I wandered like an evil spirit, for I had committed deeds of mischief beyond description horrible, and more, much more (I persuaded myself) was yet behind. Yet it is in your power to recompense me, and deliver them from an evil which it only remains for you to make so great, that not only you and your family, but thousands of others, shall be swallowed up in the whirlwinds of its rage. "A considerable period elapsed before I discovered one of the causes of the uneasiness of this amiable family: it was poverty, and they suffered that evil in a very distressing degree. He appeared at one time a mere scion of the evil principle and at another as all that can be conceived of noble and godlike. "As yet I looked upon crime as a distant evil , benevolence and generosity were ever present before me, inciting within me a desire to become an actor in the busy scene where so many admirable qualities were called forth and displayed. You will return and again seek their kindness, and you will meet with their detestation; your evil passions will be renewed, and you will then have a companion to aid you in the task of destruction. My evil passions will have fled, for I shall meet with sympathy! I looked towards its completion with a tremulous and eager hope, which I dared not trust myself to question but which was intermixed with obscure forebodings of evil that made my heart sicken in my bosom. Persecuted and tortured as I am and have been, can death be any evil to me? But death was no evil to me if the loss of Elizabeth were balanced with it, and I therefore, with a contented and even cheerful countenance, agreed with my father that if my cousin would consent, the ceremony should take place in ten days, and thus put, as I imagined, the seal to my fate. But on the day that was to fulfil my wishes and my destiny, she was melancholy, and a presentiment of evil pervaded her; and perhaps also she thought of the dreadful secret which I had promised to reveal to her on the following day. He showed unparalleled malignity and selfishness in evil  ; he destroyed my friends; he devoted to destruction beings who possessed exquisite sensations, happiness, and wisdom; nor do I know where this thirst for vengeance may end. Evil thenceforth became my good.