adjective Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French vicios, from Latin vitiosus full of faults, corrupt, from vitium vice Date: 14th century 1. having the nature or quality of vice or immorality ; depraved 2. defective, faulty; also invalid 3. impure, noxious 4. a. dangerously aggressive ; savage <
a vicious dog
b. marked by violence or ferocity ; fierce <
a vicious fight
5. malicious, spiteful <
vicious gossip
6. worsened by internal causes that reciprocally augment each other <
a vicious wage-price spiral
viciously adverbviciousness noun Synonyms: vicious, villainous, iniquitous, nefarious, corrupt, degenerate mean highly reprehensible or offensive in character, nature, or conduct. vicious may directly oppose virtuous in implying moral depravity, or may connote malignancy, cruelty, or destructive violence <
a vicious gangster
. villainous applies to any evil, depraved, or vile conduct or characteristic <
a villainous assault
. iniquitous implies absence of all signs of justice or fairness <
an iniquitous system of taxation
. nefarious suggests flagrant breaching of time-honored laws and traditions of conduct <
the nefarious rackets of organized crime
. corrupt stresses a loss of moral integrity or probity causing betrayal of principle or sworn obligations <
city hall was rife with corrupt politicians
. degenerate suggests having sunk to an especially vicious or enervated condition <
a degenerate regime propped up by foreign powers

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Vicious — Vi cious, a. [OF. vicious, F. vicieux, fr. L. vitiosus, fr. vitium vice. See {Vice} a fault.] 1. Characterized by vice or defects; defective; faulty; imperfect. [1913 Webster] Though I perchance am vicious in my guess. Shak. [1913 Webster] The… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • vicious — vicious, villainous, iniquitous, nefarious, flagitious, infamous, corrupt, degenerate are comparable when they mean highly reprehensible or offensive in character, nature, or conduct. Vicious may imply an addiction to or connection with vice or… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • vicious — [vish′əs] adj. [ME < OFr vicieus < L vitiosus, full of faults, corrupt, vicious < vitium,VICE1] 1. a) given to or characterized by vice; evil, corrupt, or depraved b) tending to deprave or corrupt; pernicious [vicious interests] c)… …   English World dictionary

  • vicious — (adj.) early 14c. (implied in viciously), of the nature of vice, wicked, from Anglo Fr. vicious, O.Fr. vicieus, from L. vitiosus faulty, defective, corrupt, from vitium fault (see VICE (Cf. vice) (n.1)). Meaning inclined to be savage or dangerous …   Etymology dictionary

  • vicious — I adjective abandoned, acrimonious, atrocious, barbarous, beastly, blameworthy, brutal, censurable, contrary, corrupt, criminal, cruel, dangerous, debased, degenerate, demoralized, depraved, devilish, diabolical, disgraceful, evil, evil minded,… …   Law dictionary

  • vicious — [adj1] corrupt, wrong abandoned, abhorrent, atrocious, bad, barbarous, base, contaminated, cruel, dangerous, debased, degenerate, degraded, demoralized, depraved, diabolical, faulty, ferocious, fiendish, flagitious, foul, heinous, immoral,… …   New thesaurus

  • vicious — ► ADJECTIVE 1) cruel or violent. 2) (of an animal) wild and dangerous. 3) literary immoral. DERIVATIVES viciously adverb viciousness noun. ORIGIN Latin vitiosus, from vitium vice …   English terms dictionary

  • Vicious — Sid Vicious (eigentlich John Simon Ritchie; * 10. Mai 1957 in London, England; † 2. Februar 1979 in New York, USA) war ein britischer Punkrock Musiker und der Bassist der Band Sex Pistols. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 1.1 Musikalisch …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • vicious — 01. Be careful of their dog; it can be quite [vicious] towards strangers. 02. A young child was [viciously] attacked by a dog while playing in the park yesterday. 03. He was injured by a [vicious] kick from an opposing player. 04. The young man… …   Grammatical examples in English

  • vicious — viciously, adv. viciousness, n. /vish euhs/, adj. 1. addicted to or characterized by vice; grossly immoral; depraved; profligate: a vicious life. 2. given or readily disposed to evil: a vicious criminal. 3. reprehensible; blameworthy; wrong: a… …   Universalium

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