Difference Between Evil and Devil

 Key Difference: The word evil and devil are almost interchangeable, very closely related in their meaning and usage. If you describe someone as evil, you mean that they are very wicked by nature and take pleasure in doing things that harm other people. Whereas devil means an ill-natured or cruel person. Devil is the personification of wickedness while evil is the state of being wicked. This makes angels or God the opposite of devil while good is the antonym of evil.

EvilAccording to differencebetween.net “Evil” came from the Old English word, “yfel” which means “wicked”, “vicious”, or “bad”. It is universally understood as the absence of goodness. Nonetheless, this is a very broad concept with subjective interpretations. Regarding religion, it is being immoral or disobeying God’s laws. For example, evil deeds are those that go against the nature of God. From a psychological perspective, being evil usually means being cruel and having a significant lack of empathy. For instance, exploitative behaviors like those of serial killers, rapists, and unethical human experiments exhibit no regard for others. Many experts say that “evil” behavior is often caused by an intricate combination of childhood experience, neurological factors, culture, and/or cognitive patterns.

“Devil” came from the Greek word “diaballein” which is translated as “to slander” or “to attack” and it is often used as the general personification of evil. For instance, somebody is dubbed as “the devil” if he or she exhibits consistent cruelty. This word is also broadly understood as the highest spirit of wickedness. It is then the opponent of God as it stands for everything which goes against goodness.”Devil

It is believed that all evil originates from the Devil. Devil was originally one of Gods most prominent angels. But his greed of power and beauty made him rebel against God. The devil wanted to make himself god. He did this by, amongst other things, asserting a completely new lifestyle. He began to be concerned primarily with himself rather than with the good of others and by questioning the character of God, among other things by claiming that God was unreliable, a betrayer.

The difference between evil and devil is as follows:





The state of being wicked.

Personification of wickedness.



God or Angle

Functions as

An adjective, a noun, or an adverb



Old English word, “yfel” which means “wicked”, “vicious” or “bad.”

Greek word “diaballein” which is translated as “to slander” or “to attack”

References: differencebetween.net,livets-mening.nu,collinsdictionary.com( evil and devil)
Image Courtesy: slidesharecdn.com,barbarasreality2.wordpress.com

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