Word of the Day Archive
Wednesday June 19, 2002
turpitude \TUR-puh-tood; -tyood\ , noun:
1. Inherent baseness or vileness of principle, words, or actions; depravity.
2. A base act.
In the eyes of the far left, it [the 60s] is the era when revolution was at hand, only to be betrayed by the feebleness of the faithful and the trickery of the enemy; to the radical right, an era of subversion and moral turpitude.
-- Arthur Marwick, The Sixties: Cultural Revolution in Britain, France, Italy, and the United States, c.1958-c.1974
They based their action on a clause in the uniform player contract which says players must "conform to standards of good citizenship and good moral character" and disallows "engaging in acts of moral turpitude."
-- Ira Berkow, "Go Ahead, Choke the Boss -- Only in the N.B.A.", New York Times, March 5, 1998
They were not his misdeeds, his turpitudes; she accused him of nothing--that is, of but one thing, which was not a crime.
-- Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady
Turpitude comes from Latin turpitudo, from turpis, "foul, base."