mid-15c., "to lower in worth or value," from Late Latin vilificare "to make cheap or base; to esteem of little value," from Latin vilis "cheap, base" (see vile) + combining form of facere "to make" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put"). Meaning "to slander, speak evil of" is first recorded 1590s. Related: Vilified, vilifying.
1620s, from Medieval Latin vilificationem (nominative vilificatio), noun of action from past participle stem of Late Latin vilificare (see vilify).
c. 1300, revilen, "debase, degrade" (a sense now obsolete);" mid-14c., "insult, taunt, vilify, assail with abusive language," from Old French reviler "consider vile, despise, scorn," from re-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see re-), + aviler "make vile or cheap, disesteem," from vil "shameful, dishonorable; low-born; cheap; ugly, hideous" (see vile (adj.)). Related: Reviled; reviler; reviling.