from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A practice or habit considered to be evil, degrading, or immoral.
  • noun Wicked or depraved conduct or habits; corruption.
  • noun Prostitution, the sale of illegal drugs, and certain other forms of usually nonviolent criminal behavior.
  • noun A slight personal failing; a foible.
  • noun A flaw or imperfection; a defect.
  • noun A character representing generalized or particular vice in English morality plays.
  • noun A jester or buffoon.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • See vise.
  • noun A vice-chairman, vice-president, or other substitute or deputy, the principal or primary officer being indicated by the context.
  • In the place of; instead of: a Latin noun used in a position which gives it, as transferred to English, the effect of a preposition governing the following noun: as, Lieutenant A is gazetted as captain, vice Captain B promoted.
  • A prefix denoting, in the word compounded with it, one who acts in place of another, or one who is second in rank: as, vice-president, vice-chancellor.
  • noun Fault; mistake; error: as, a vice of method.
  • noun An imperfection; a defect; a blemish: as, a vice of conformation; a vice of literary style.
  • noun Any immoral or evil habit or practice; evil conduct in which a person indulges; a particular form of wickedness or depravity; immorality; specifically, the indulgence of impure or degrading appetites or passions: as, the vice of drunkenness; hence, also, a fault or bad trick in a lower animal, as a horse.
  • noun Depravity; corruption of morals or manners: in a collective sense and without a plural: as, an age of vice.
  • noun Depravity or corruption of the physical organization; some morbid strife of the system: as, he inherited a constitutional vice which resulted in consumption.
  • noun Viciousness; ugliness; mischievousness.
  • noun [capitalized] The stock buffoon in the old English moralities, or moral plays, sometimes having the name of one specific vice, as Fraud, Envy, Covetousness, sometimes of Vice in general. See Iniquity, 4.
  • noun Synonyms and Iniquity, etc. See crime.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A defect; a fault; an error; a blemish; an imperfection.
  • noun A moral fault or failing; especially, immoral conduct or habit, as in the indulgence of degrading appetites; customary deviation in a single respect, or in general, from a right standard, implying a defect of natural character, or the result of training and habits; a harmful custom; immorality; depravity; wickedness
  • noun The buffoon of the old English moralities, or moral dramas, having the name sometimes of one vice, sometimes of another, or of Vice itself; -- called also Iniquity.
  • preposition In the place of; in the stead.
  • noun (Mech.) A kind of instrument for holding work, as in filing. Same as vise.
  • noun A tool for drawing lead into cames, or flat grooved rods, for casements.
  • noun obsolete A gripe or grasp.
  • adjective Denoting one who in certain cases may assume the office or duties of a superior; designating an officer or an office that is second in rank or authority.
  • adjective A civil officer, in Great Britain, appointed by the lords commissioners of the admiralty for exercising admiralty jurisdiction within their respective districts.
  • adjective the office of a vice admiral.
  • adjective a court with admiralty jurisdiction, established by authority of Parliament in British possessions beyond the seas.
  • adjective [Eng.] an officer in court next in rank to the lord chamberlain.
  • adjective (Law), (R. C. Ch.) The cardinal at the head of the Roman Chancery.
  • adjective a subordinate officer, authorized to exercise consular functions in some particular part of a district controlled by a consul.
  • adjective one who acts in the place of a king; a viceroy.
  • adjective a legate second in rank to, or acting in place of, another legate.
  • adjective the office of vice president.
  • adjective an officer next in rank below a president.
  • transitive verb To hold or squeeze with a vice, or as if with a vice.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A bad habit.
  • noun law prostitution
  • noun A mechanical screw apparatus used for clamping or holding (also spelled vise).
  • adjective in place of; subordinate to; designating a person below another in rank
  • preposition instead of, in place of

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

  • noun a specific form of evildoing
  • noun moral weakness


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

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin vitium.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Anglo-Norman < Old French < Latin vitium ("fault or blemish").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French vis ("screw, winding stairs"), from Old French vis, viz, from Latin vitis ("vine"); akin to English withy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin vice ("in place of"), ablative form of vicis.


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  • "As the title entendre suggests, Brottman is an advocate of reading for pleasure, but she draws witty and serious ties between literacy and a number of impulses, compulsions and neuroses: voyeurism, celebrity worship, guilt, isolation and 'Severe Disappointment with Reality.'" -- Web Pick of the Week: The Solitary Vice: Against Reading, Publishers Weekly, 3/31/08

    April 10, 2008

  • Presidents often seem to have at least once vice.

    September 24, 2008