Depravity De*prav"i*ty, n. [From {Deprave}: cf. L. pravitas crookedness, perverseness.] The state of being depraved or corrupted; a vitiated state of moral character; general badness of character; wickedness of mind or heart; absence of religious feeling and principle. [1913 Webster]

{Total depravity}. See {Original sin}, and {Calvinism}.

Syn: Corruption; vitiation; wickedness; vice; contamination; degeneracy.

Usage: {Depravity}, {Depravation}, {Corruption}. Depravilty is a vitiated state of mind or feeling; as, the depravity of the human heart; depravity of public morals. Depravation points to the act or process of making depraved, and hence to the end thus reached; as, a gradual depravation of principle; a depravation of manners, of the heart, etc. Corruption is the only one of these words which applies to physical substances, and in reference to these denotes the process by which their component parts are dissolved. Hence, when figuratively used, it denotes an utter vitiation of principle or feeling. Depravity applies only to the mind and heart: we can speak of a depraved taste, or a corrupt taste; in the first we introduce the notion that there has been the influence of bad training to pervert; in the second, that there is a want of true principle to pervert; in the second, that there is a want of true principles to decide. The other two words have a wider use: we can speak of the depravation or the corruption of taste and public sentiment. Depravity is more or less open; corruption is more or less disguised in its operations. What is depraved requires to be reformed; what is corrupt requires to be purified. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

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  • depravity — de·prav·i·ty /di pra və tē/ n pl ties 1: the quality or state of being depraved 2: a corrupt act or practice Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • depravity — 1640s; see DEPRAVE (Cf. deprave) + ITY (Cf. ity). Earlier in same sense was pravity, from L. pravitas …   Etymology dictionary

  • depravity — [n] corruption, immorality abandonment, baseness, contamination, criminality, debasement, debauchery, degeneracy, degradation, depravation, evil, iniquity, lewdness, licentiousness, perversion, profligacy, sensuality, sinfulness, vice,… …   New thesaurus

  • depravity — [dē prav′ə tē, diprav′ə tē] n. [altered (after DEPRAVE) < obs. pravity < L pravitas, crookedness] 1. a depraved condition; corruption; wickedness 2. pl. depravities a depraved act or practice …   English World dictionary

  • depravity — [[t]dɪpræ̱vɪti[/t]] N UNCOUNT Depravity is very dishonest or immoral behaviour. [FORMAL] I have seen the absolute depravity that can exist in times of war. ...the righteous struggle between decency and depravity. Syn: immorality …   English dictionary

  • depravity — noun a) The state or condition of being depraved; moral debasement. Depravity in the oppressed is no apology for the oppressor. b) A particular depraved act or trait. There were men there who had committed merciless robberies, cruel murders,… …   Wiktionary

  • depravity — noun the depravity of white slavers Syn: corruption, vice, perversion, deviance, degeneracy, immorality, debauchery, dissipation, profligacy, licentiousness, lechery, prurience, obscenity, indecency; wickedness, sin, iniquity; formal turpitude …   Thesaurus of popular words

  • depravity — deprave ► VERB ▪ lead away from what is natural or right; corrupt. DERIVATIVES depravity noun. ORIGIN Latin depravare, from pravus crooked, perverse …   English terms dictionary

  • depravity — noun (plural ties) Date: 1641 1. a corrupt act or practice 2. the quality or state of being depraved …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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