Word Origin & History
"moral fault, wickedness," c.1300, from O.Fr. vice, from L. vitium "defect, offense, blemish, imperfection," in both physical and moral senses (cf. It. vezzo "usage, entertainment").
"Horace and Aristotle have already spoken to us about the virtues of their forefathers and the vices of their own times, and through the centuries, authors have talked the same way. If all this were true, we would be bears today." [Montesquieu]
Vice squad is attested from 1905. Vice anglais "corporal punishment," lit. "the English vice," is attested from 1942, from French.
"tool for holding," see vise
prefix meaning "instead of, in place of," 15c., from L. vice "in place of," ablative of vicis "change, turn, office" (see vicarious
). Sometimes borrowed in O.Fr. form vis-, vi-.