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[tur-pi-tood, -tyood] /ˈtɜr pɪˌtud, -ˌtyud/
vile, shameful, or base character; depravity.
a vile or depraved act.
Origin of turpitude
1480-90; < Latin turpitūdō, equivalent to turpi(s) base, vile + -tūdō -tude
1. wickedness, vice, vileness, wrongdoing. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for turpitude
  • The coolness and reflection with which this act was managed and concerted, raises its enormity and blackens its turpitude.
  • If there was turpitude in that twisted soul, it was well-concealed, hidden behind a wall of pranks and movie-star glamour.
  • In this context, degeneracy connotes a peculiar quantum mechanical state of matter, rather than a state of moral turpitude.
  • Also, a second crime involving moral turpitude that is expunged is still considered a conviction.
British Dictionary definitions for turpitude


base character or action; depravity
Word Origin
C15: from Latin turpitūdō ugliness, from turpis base
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for turpitude

"depravity, infamy," late 15c., from Middle French turpitude (early 15c.), from Latin turpitudinem (nominative turpitudo) "baseness," from turpis "vile, ugly, base, shameful," used in both the moral and the physical senses; of unknown origin. Perhaps originally "what one turns away from" (cf. Latin trepit "he turns").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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