Is there any difference in '악마' and '마귀', meaning 'devil'?

Do either of them refer to 'The Devil' in any particular belief system? Are either of them more rooted in Korean traditions?

  • 2
    Relevant: both are Sino-Korean words. In Chinese texts, (1) 惡魔 (악마) was used in Buddhist texts as a name of an evil spirit which obstructs peoples' paths to enlightenment, and (2) 魔鬼 (마귀) was a demon or malevolent force.
    – dROOOze
    Apr 21, 2018 at 5:52

1 Answer 1


마귀 = devil

1) 인간에게 해를 끼치는 귀신 = ghost that do a harm to human

2) 악마

@ 백설공주에서 사과를 판 할머니를 마귀할멈이라고 번역했다.

In story "snow white", grandmother delivering an apple is called 마귀할멈.

악마 = devil (In Buddhist, it is called 마군 or 마구니)

@ 나는 하는 일마다 안돼. 마가 끼어서 그래.

I have no result in my everything. Evil is in my body.

@@ 태초에 요괴와 귀신이 있었고 이 중에 한 부류가 악마였다. 소크라테스는 자신의 영감은 악령이며, 플라톤 역시 정령은 악이 아니다라고 주장했다.

그러나 그독교가 악으로 설명했다.

한국에서 악마 대신 귀신이 있다. 귀신은 부정적인 대상이 아니었으나 조선시대에 와서 정치적 이념에 의해 부정적인 대상이 되었다.

First, there are ghost and monsters. Some of them is evil. Socrates was inspired by demon, and Platon insisted that it is no bad.

But Christianity explained that it is bad. In Korea, there is no evil. Instead, there is ghost. Originally, it did not represent negative or positive thing. But in Josun, it represented a bad by a politic.

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