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vicious

[vish-uh s] /ˈvɪʃ əs/
adjective
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 vicious deception.
4.
spiteful; malicious:
vicious gossip; a vicious attack.
5.
unpleasantly severe:
a vicious headache.
6.
characterized or marred by faults or defects; faulty; unsound:
vicious reasoning.
7.
savage; ferocious:
They all feared his vicious temper.
8.
(of an animal) having bad habits or a cruel or fierce disposition:
a vicious bull.
9.
Archaic. morbid, foul, or noxious.
Origin of vicious
1300-1350
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.
Synonyms
1. abandoned, corrupt, iniquitous, sinful. 4. malevolent.
Antonyms
1. moral.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for vicious
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They had heard too of the vicious nature of these same animals.

    The Peril Finders George Manville Fenn
  • But can the safety of the state be secured by merely excluding the vicious poor?

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • Chico, the big ape that has also been mentioned, was often vicious and stubborn.

    Gorillas & Chimpanzees R. L. Garner
  • Our steward was a Portuguese negro, of the most vicious and surly temper.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • I don't think he's naturally bad or vicious—I think he's just weak.

British Dictionary definitions for vicious

vicious

/ˈvɪʃəs/
adjective
1.
wicked or cruel; villainous: a vicious thug
2.
characterized by violence or ferocity: a vicious blow
3.
(informal) unpleasantly severe; harsh: a vicious wind
4.
characterized by malice: vicious lies
5.
(esp of dogs, horses, etc) ferocious or hostile; dangerous
6.
characterized by or leading to vice
7.
invalidated by defects; unsound: a vicious inference
8.
(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
adj.

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

noun

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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