"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[vish-uh s] /ˈvɪʃ əs/
addicted to or characterized by vice; grossly immoral; depraved; profligate:
a vicious life.
given or readily disposed to evil:
a vicious criminal.
reprehensible; blameworthy; wrong:
a vicious deception.
spiteful; malicious:
vicious gossip; a vicious attack.
unpleasantly severe:
a vicious headache.
characterized or marred by faults or defects; faulty; unsound:
vicious reasoning.
savage; ferocious:
They all feared his vicious temper.
(of an animal) having bad habits or a cruel or fierce disposition:
a vicious bull.
Archaic. morbid, foul, or noxious.
Origin of vicious
1300-50; Middle English (< Anglo-French) < Latin vitiōsus, equivalent to viti(um) fault, vice1 + -ōsus -ous
Related forms
viciously, adverb
viciousness, noun
unvicious, adjective
unviciously, adverb
unviciousness, noun
Can be confused
vicious, viscose, viscous.
1. abandoned, corrupt, iniquitous, sinful. 4. malevolent.
1. moral. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for vicious
  • However, describing these unfortunate cases as an instance of eugenics is not only wrong, but actually vicious.
  • It's an exposé on the vicious pecking order that is sometimes humorous, sometimes mildly tragic.
  • Look, keep your vicious snotty snobberies and bravado if it comforts you.
  • Truth be told, that poster who was a bit vicious about calling pro-gun people liars was right about one thing.
  • There is not one shred of cultural value to these kinds of vicious attacks, except to intimidate and destroy.
  • For others, the wolf epitomizes the evil, vicious wild beast that should be exterminated.
  • Stop the ridiculous and vicious imprisoning of poor people who do some drug without a prescription.
  • The result can spark a vicious cycle of metabolic problems and weight gain, he remarks.
  • Get that operation if that's what it takes to keep you out of the vicious cycle of inactivity.
  • Modern agriculture seems locked in a vicious circle of pollinator destruction.
British Dictionary definitions for vicious


wicked or cruel; villainous: a vicious thug
characterized by violence or ferocity: a vicious blow
(informal) unpleasantly severe; harsh: a vicious wind
characterized by malice: vicious lies
(esp of dogs, horses, etc) ferocious or hostile; dangerous
characterized by or leading to vice
invalidated by defects; unsound: a vicious inference
(obsolete) noxious or morbid: a vicious exhalation
Derived Forms
viciously, adverb
viciousness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French vicieus, from Latin vitiōsus full of faults, from vitium a defect
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 vicious

early 14c. (implied in viciously), "of the nature of vice, wicked," from Anglo-French vicious, Old French vicieus, from Latin vitiosus "faulty, defective, corrupt," from vitium "fault" (see vice (n.1)). Meaning "inclined to be savage or dangerous" is first recorded 1711 (originally of animals, especially horses); that of "full of spite, bitter, severe" is from 1825. In law, "marred by some inherent fault" (late 14c.), hence also this sense in logic (c.1600); cf. vicious circle in reasoning (c.1792, Latin circulus vitiosus), which was given a general sense of "a situation in which action and reaction intensify one another" by 1839.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for vicious

vic 1


A convict (1925+ Underworld)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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