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

  • transitive verb To reduce the value or quality of; impair or spoil.
  • transitive verb To corrupt morally; debase: synonym: corrupt.
  • transitive verb To make ineffective (a contract or legal stipulation, for example); invalidate.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To render vicious, faulty, or imperfect; injure the quality or substance of; cause to be defective; impair; spoil; corrupt: as, a vitiated taste.
  • To cause to fail of effect, either in whole or in part; render invalid or of no effect; destroy the validity or binding force of, as of a legal instrument or a transaction; divest of legal value or authority; invalidate: as, any undue influence exerted on a jury vitiates their verdict; fraud vitiates a contact; a court is vitiated by the presence of unqualified persons sitting as members of it.
  • Synonyms Pollute, Corrupt, etc. (see taint), debase, deprave.

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

  • transitive verb To make vicious, faulty, or imperfect; to render defective; to injure the substance or qualities of; to impair; to contaminate; to spoil
  • transitive verb To cause to fail of effect, either wholly or in part; to make void; to destroy, as the validity or binding force of an instrument or transaction; to annul.

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

  • verb transitive to spoil, make faulty; to reduce the value, quality, or effectiveness of something
  • verb transitive to debase or morally corrupt
  • verb transitive, archaic to violate, to rape
  • verb transitive to make something ineffective, to invalidate

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

  • verb corrupt morally or by intemperance or sensuality
  • verb make imperfect
  • verb take away the legal force of or render ineffective


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

[Latin vitiāre, vitiāt-, from vitium, fault.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From vitiātus, the perfect passive participle of Latin vitiō ("damage, spoil"), from vitium ("vice").



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  • For loud prayer is good for weak lungs and for a vitiated throat. (from Jubilate Agno by Christopher Smart)

    December 31, 2007

  • Many vitiate their principles in the acquisition of riches; and who can wonder that what is gained by fraud and extortion is enjoyed with tyranny and excess?

    Samuel Johnson, "The Rambler (No. CLXXII)"

    July 24, 2011