Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Gross immorality or injustice; wickedness.
  • n. A grossly immoral act; a sin.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Deviation from what is right; wickedness, gross injustice.
  • n. A wrongful act.
  • n. Absence of moral or spiritual values, lawlessness.
  • n. Denial of the sovereignty of God.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Absence of, or deviation from, just dealing; lack of rectitude or uprightness; gross injustice; unrighteousness; wickedness
  • n. An iniquitous act or thing; a deed of injustice or unrighteousness; a sin; a crime.
  • n. A character or personification in the old English moralities, or moral dramas, having the name sometimes of one vice and sometimes of another. See Vice.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Lack of equity; gross injustice; unrighteousness; wickedness: as, the iniquity of the slave-trade.
  • n. A violation of right or duty; an unjust or wicked action; a wilful wrong or crime.
  • n. In Scots law, inequity; a judicial act or decision contrary to law or equity.
  • n. [capitalized] A comic character or buffoon in the medieval English moralities or moral plays, often otherwise called the Vice, and sometimes by the name of the particular vice he represented.
  • n. Synonyms and Sin, Transgression, etc. See crime.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. absence of moral or spiritual values
  • n. an unjust act
  • n. morally objectionable behavior

Etymologies

Middle English iniquite, from Old French, from Latin inīquitās, from inīquus, unjust, harmful : in-, not; see in-1 + aequus, equal.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English iniquite, from Latin iniquitas, from iniquus ("unjust, harmful"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Their silver and gold were called the stumbling-block of their iniquity (ch.vii. 19), their idols of silver and gold, by the beauty of which they were allured to idolatry, and so it was the block at which they stumbled, and fell into that sin; or their iniquity is their stumbling-block, which throws them down, so that they fall into ruin.

    Commentary on the Whole Bible Volume IV (Isaiah to Malachi)

  • They first unsettle our obedience by discovering what they call the iniquity of our governors; and indeed it is not difficult for those who look with a malignant eye on their conduct to perceive such errors, or, if you will, vices, as an artful and censorious temper may dress up into glaring enormities, especially if it deals in those exaggerations which people, who give up their understandings to the views of a party, call true representations.

    The Loyalists, Vol. 1-3 An Historical Novel

  • The Summa attributed to Prepositinus echoed Psalm 50: 7 ( "I was conceived in iniquity," cited above) to affirm that little children had iniquity, but it stipulated that the sin was contractum, non actum — that is, inherited rather than committed by the children themselves. 35 The image of the newborn's unclean soul undermined any notion of childhood innocence advocated by neo-Pelagian heretics.

    A Tender Age: Cultural Anxieties over the Child in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries

  • Such a system of social inequity/iniquity is unthinkable to any sensitive person -- which is why I was glad that my Chilean ancestors left South America when they did.

    Blue-Eyed Reconquistadores Watch

  • But the iniquity is that I have lied in admitting the disgusting charges laid against the Order.

    The Vindication of Fra' Jacques

  • And because iniquity, etc. The word iniquity here seems to include the cruelty of the Jews and Romans in their persecutions; the betraying of Christians by those who professed to be such; and the pernicious errors of false prophets and others.

    Barnes New Testament Notes

  • I do not mind with men, but I have never particularly favored physical encounters with women; yet this woman, who encouraged a little girl in iniquity, tempted me.

    The Golden Poppy

  • A World of iniquity is created out of their desire fair change.

    The Psychology of the Suffragette

  • Frederick the Great had set the first example of what some call iniquity and violence in Europe, and others in milder terms call a readjustment of the equilibrium of nations.

    Burke

  • Translate, "The tongue, that world of iniquity, is a fire."

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • so a better meat meaning of what was commented on may 1st is, anything of you that is NOT the father of you meaning your thoughts your actions body movements , is iniquity, remember your only good is god,and your only boast, why he calls us instrument and temples and more, and thats his image when he reveals his life through you, whoa to any he has to prove this to remember faith is he telling you then he made you perform it, but he doesnt when you think you have your own ways, then its the father of lies and he performs it, why he said they do not know what they do, amen to that

    May 13, 2014

  • iniquity if you read hermas, the lord telling him to stop being doubleminded represents iniquity well, people thinking they are asking the lord questions, i see his truth in that, sayin let the christ be your mind let god write in your hearts,even if he makes you ask him questions from himself so the temple he made you may now be blessed from his answer, so just know who is asking the questions

    May 1, 2014

  • A local name for millipede in Jamaica, pronounced "innie quitty".

    November 11, 2007