Is a there a noun that means an object that is 'evil' or is anti-life? I am looking for a word to characterize a bullet that killed an innocent person. I have found some adjectives such as heinous, atrocious, nefarious, and malevolent that can accurately describe the bullet, but I am looking for a noun. Characterizing the whole shooting as an atrocity is another solution, but I am looking for a word that is more of an object than an act. Thanks for all help

For example:

The bullet is nothing but a _______

  • @Jon If you read the tooltip, it mentions a lack of evident research as a reason for a downvote. (That link is not ideal, but it's better than nothing).
    – Andrew Leach
    May 22, 2016 at 20:16
  • 3
    There are people who will tell you that a bullet is nothing but a hunk of lead (and guns don't kill people, people do). What "spin" do you want to put on this word?
    – Hot Licks
    May 22, 2016 at 20:28
  • Look for synonyms for "evil" as a noun: thesaurus.com/browse/evil
    – Hot Licks
    May 22, 2016 at 20:31
  • I disagree that you can use malevolent as an adjective describing the bullet. Malevolent suggest agency, which bullets don't possess. Your other adjectives do seem to work though (although nefarious bullet also sounds a bit of to me).
    – DyingIsFun
    May 22, 2016 at 20:44
  • @NVZ I'm struggling for a one-word applicable noun that encapsulates the intent. There are some good adjectives here - and the answers aren't terrible as nouns go, but they can't capture the emotion without further context. The obscene lead is fine when you know that it's just killed someone; bane isn't strong enough in the sense of "something recently fatal" (c/f your telephone example - hardly fatal!). May 22, 2016 at 22:33

3 Answers 3



The bullet is nothing but an obscenity.

This is a word an anguished relative or friend of the innocent victim might use as she/he rails against the immediate cause of the victim's death.

According to Dictionary.com, an obscenity is something that is obscene.

The Free Dictionary has as one of its definitions of obscene

abominable; disgusting; repulsive


Scourge - Oxford Dictionary

A person or thing that causes great trouble or suffering.

I also have heard Cancer used in this way. Merriam-Webster

Something bad or dangerous that causes other bad things to happen

I also agree with Bane but it was suggested already!

  • Scourge is a great word, but it's evil only in context. "A bullet is nothing but a scourge" could mean that justice is being served to unwholesome foes just as easily as it could mean that innocent people are getting mowed down. And I'd argue that it implies the former. Cancer is a good suggestion in that it implies something destructive and "anti-life" and negative.
    – Kit Z. Fox
    May 23, 2016 at 11:55

"The bullet is nothing but a curse (or abomination)"


noun 1.1 (usually in singular) A cause of harm or misery

synonyms evil, blight, scourge, plague, cancer, canker, poison


noun 1. A thing that causes disgust or loathing

synonyms atrocity, disgrace, horror, obscenity, outrage, curse, torment, evil, crime, monstrosity, violation, bugbear, anathema, bane

In my opinion, bane is an option, but it won't fit the OP's example perfectly


noun 2. archaic Something, especially poison, which causes death.

  • "Nothing but a bane" sounds odd to me. It feels like it should be a bane of something, and all your examples also support that.
    – Kit Z. Fox
    May 23, 2016 at 11:50
  • @KitZ.Fox Thank you for the advice, how is my answer now? :)
    – NVZ
    May 23, 2016 at 12:14
  • Better, but you could explain the bane part more.
    – Kit Z. Fox
    May 23, 2016 at 13:03

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