Definitions

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

  • adjective Mean-spirited or deliberately hurtful; malicious.
  • adjective Extremely violent or injurious; cruel.
  • adjective Marked by an aggressive disposition. Used chiefly of animals.
  • adjective Disposed to violent or destructive behavior.
  • adjective Severe, powerful, or intense; fierce.
  • adjective Having the nature of vice; evil, immoral, or depraved.
  • adjective Given to vice, immorality, or depravity.
  • adjective Faulty or defective.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Characterized by vice or imperfection; faulty; defective.
  • Addicted to vice; habitually transgressing moral law; depraved; profligate; wicked.
  • Contrary to moral principles or to rectitude; perverse; pernicious; evil; bad.
  • Impure; foul; vitiated: as, vicious humors.
  • Faulty; incorrect; not pure; corrupt: as, a vicious style.
  • Not well broken or trained; given to objectionable tricks: said of an animal.
  • Characterized by severity; virulent; malignant; spiteful: as, a vicious attack.
  • Synonyms and Wicked, Depraved, etc. (see criminal), unprincipled, licentious, profligate.
  • Refractory, ugly.

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

  • adjective Characterized by vice or defects; defective; faulty; imperfect.
  • adjective Addicted to vice; corrupt in principles or conduct; depraved; wicked.
  • adjective Wanting purity; foul; bad; noxious.
  • adjective Not correct or pure; corrupt.
  • adjective Not well tamed or broken; given to bad tricks; unruly; refractory.
  • adjective colloq. Bitter; spiteful; malignant.

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

  • adjective Pertaining to vice; characterised by immorality or depravity.
  • adjective Evil, immoral or depraved.
  • adjective Violent, destructive and cruel.
  • adjective Savage and aggressive.

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

  • adjective (of persons or their actions) able or disposed to inflict pain or suffering
  • adjective marked by deep ill will; deliberately harmful
  • adjective having the nature of vice
  • adjective bringing or deserving severe rebuke or censure

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old French vicieus, from Latin vitiōsus, from vitium, vice.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Anglo-Norman vicious, Old French vicious (modern French vicieux), from Latin vitiōsus, from vitium ("fault, vice").

Examples

  • I borrowed the term vicious cycle as it did in cycle for the past 71 years or once less than every 4 years.

    Why Thailand Will Not Stage the Next Military Coup

  • When I use the term vicious, it is for the sake of talking your language; for, if we came to explanations, it might happen that you called vice what I call virtue, and virtue what I call vice.

    Diderot and the Encyclopædists Volume II.

  • The Palestinian Authority urged the international community to intervene and implement the two-state solution, saying that is the only way to end what it called the "vicious cycle of violence."

    Israel Approves More Settler Homes in West Bank

  • To be clear, if you're using this event to criticize the "rhetoric" of Mrs. Palin or others with whom you disagree, then you're either: (a) asserting a connection between the "rhetoric" and the shooting, which based on evidence to date would be what we call a vicious lie; or (b) you're not, in which case you're just seizing on a tragedy to try to score unrelated political points, which is contemptible.

    The Arizona Tragedy and the Politics of Blood Libel

  • To be clear, if you're using this event to criticize the 'rhetoric' of Mrs. Palin or others with whom you disagree, then you're either: (a) asserting a connection between the 'rhetoric' and the shooting, which based on evidence to date would be what we call a vicious lie; or (b) you're not, in which case you're just seizing on a tragedy to try to score unrelated political points, which is contemptible.

    Morning Bits

  • The Palestinian Authority urged the international community to intervene and implement the two-state solution, saying that is the only way to end what it called the "vicious cycle of violence."

    Israel Approves More Settler Homes in West Bank

  • The 21-year-old beauty queen also spoke, defending herself against what she called vicious attacks.

    CNN Transcript May 12, 2009

  • JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Condemning what she calls vicious attacks, Hillary Clinton says those who carry them out are cowards.

    CNN Transcript Oct 28, 2009

  • The 21-year-old beauty queen also spoke, defending herself against what she called vicious attacks.

    CNN Transcript May 12, 2009

  • After Trump spoke, the 21-year-old Prejean, who was accompanied by her parents, took her turn at the lectern, defending herself against what she described as vicious attacks.

    Miss California KEEPS The Crown: Trump Compliments Her Beauty (VIDEO)

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