American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Gross immorality or injustice; wickedness.
- n. A grossly immoral act; a sin.
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. His chief business was to make sport by tormenting the impersonated Devil, and he was the prototype of the later clown or fool, Punch, and Harlequin.
- n. Synonyms and Sin, Transgression, etc. See crime.
- 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.
GNU Webster's 1913
- 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.
- n. absence of moral or spiritual values
- n. an unjust act
- n. morally objectionable behavior
- From Middle English iniquite, from Latin iniquitas, from iniquus ("unjust, harmful"). (Wiktionary)
- 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)
“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.”
“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 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.”
“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.”
“But the iniquity is that I have lied in admitting the disgusting charges laid against the Order.”
“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.”
“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.”
“A World of iniquity is created out of their desire fair change.”
“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.”
“Translate, "The tongue, that world of iniquity, is a fire.”
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