“The true office and the chief and proper use of the law is to reveal to man his sin, blindness, misery, wickedness, ignorance, hate, contempt of God, death, hell,judgment, and the well-deserved wrath of God ….When the law is being used correctly, it does nothing but reveal sin, work wrath, accuse, terrify, and reduce minds to the point of despair” said Martin Luther.

We already had a word that meant wicked in poneria.  This adds to the sense the idea of maliciousness.

Wickedness goes way past being naughty or mischievous; it means a quality of true evil. In an old spy movie, the villain might reveal his wickedness by cackling with delight while carrying out dastardly plans.

A tyrant’s cruel treatment of citizens is evidence of wickedness, while literary antagonists like Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth and Voldemort from the Harry Potter series display their wickedness through many vicious actions. Wickedness and wicked come from a now-obsolete adjective, wick, meaning “bad or false,” and an Old English root it shares with wizard and witch.

It is a malicious mindset that seems to grow and encompass many things.  In the great book by Cormack McArthy, “No Country for Old Men”, two old sheriffs are talking about the violent insanity and malicious killing that is going on around them because they are caught in a drug war and malcious action of a demonic killer.  One says something to the effect that they never saw this was coming and it was the worst thing was that people were bringing drugs and selling it to “our kids”.  The other old sheriff says there is something worse – “our kids” are buying it.

Malicious wickedness operates in such a way that it grows and encompasses all kinds of facets of a society and infiltrates every level of life.