viti-, vitu-, vic-

(Latin: vitium; a fault, a defect, a blemish; a corruption, a crime)

vice (s) (noun), vices (pl)
1. Behavior that is contrary to normally acceptable social norms: Mildred's vice was compulsive on-line gambling which resulted in a financial loss of the mortgage on her home.
2. A minor bad and uncontrollable habit: Steve admitted that eating too much was his vice.
3. Criminal activities that can involve sex or drugs or both of them: Bert was arrested by the police who were dealing with such vices as narcotics.

A reporter was investigating a vice in which prostitutes were parked in campers on some streets of the town to entice or to lure customers to come and to visit them.

vicious (adjective), more vicious, most vicious
1. Ferocious and violent; carried out with intense violence and an apparent desire to inflict serious harm, or acting in an aggressive, cruel, and violent way: Roy's cousin had a vicious temper and would attempt to yell at anyone who taunted or bothered him.
2. Dangerous and aggressive and liable to attack or bite: Dina's vicious dog was kept on a strong leash whenever he was taken out for a walk.
3. Conveying maliciousness and intended to cause someone mental anguish or to defame that person: Gossips often have very vicious tongues and take pleasure in causing discomfort among their victims.
4. Pertaining to extremely severe or powerful and damaging results: The effect of the vicious hurricane was reported widely in the press which used graphic photographs.
5. Involving a chain of cause and effect or action and reaction in which things get progressively worse: After her fall on the concrete steps, Allison felt as if she were caught in a vicious cycle of appointments; first the doctor; followed by the therapist, then the home nurse, etc.
6. Wicked and immoral; such as, displaying or given to immoral behavior: Hanging out with street gangs was a vicious behavior that often got Lawrence into trouble.
7. Etymology: from Anglo-French vicious, Old French vicieus, from Latin vitiosus, "faulty, defective, corrupt" from Latin vitium, "fault".
viciously (adverb), more viciously, most viciously
1. A description of people or actions that show an intention or desire to hurt someone or something very badly: The police were accused of viciously attacking the street demonstrators with pepper spray.
2. A depiction of an object, condition, or remark that causes great physical or emotional pain: Sara's viciously cruel remarks were aimed at the woman who was perceived as her rival in the affections of the man she admired.
3. Corruptly; in a manner contrary to what is considered right and a corruption of moral principles, propriety or purity: Manfred turned on his political opponents, viciously accusing them of lying.
viciousness (s) (noun), viciousnesses (pl)
1. An action that generates harm to others; deliberate infliction of pain or suffering: The viciousness of the assault by the thugs on the street caused terror to spread throughout the neighborhood.
2. A trait of extreme cruelty: Using his spurs mercilessly on his horse was an act of viciousness by Jack, the rider.
3. Given to immorality, depravity, and extreme harshness or savagery: By day the businessman appeared to be an upright citizen; by night he was committing viciousness against prostitutes.
vitiate (verb), vitiates; vitiated; vitiating
1. To reduce the value or impair the quality of: The deep scratch on the top of the table unfortunately vitiated the resale value.
2. To morally corrupt: The landlady was attempting to vitiate some of her tenants by serving strong liquor to them during dinner.
3. To make ineffective; to invalidate: One heartless remark by the boss vitiated all the goodwill that Bill felt about his workplace.
4. Etymology: from Latin vitiatus, past participle of vitiare, "to make faulty, injure, spoil, corrupt"; from vitium, "fault, defect, blemish, crime, vice".
To spoil, corrupt, or pollute.
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To contaminate or to pollute.
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vitiation (s) (noun), vitiations (pl)
1. Injury, contamination, impairment of use or efficiency: The vitiation of his left arm made it difficult for Hector to use his motorcycle.
2. A change in a process that hampers a utility or reduces efficiency: Turning on only one bank of lights instead of two in the storeroom was a vitiation which made it difficult for Tom and the other workers to complete their repairs.
3. A weakening or the prevention of doing something: Breaking her leg was a vitiation of Jean's ability to run her Bed & Breakfast business efficiently.
vitiliginous (vit" i LIJ i nuhs) (adjective), more vitiliginous, most vitiliginous
Concerning or referring to a physical condition in which the normal color of the skin is lost from areas of the skin, causing whitish patches: The vitiliginous spots on Mike's skin bothered him very much so he went to his dermatologist, Dr. Ogden, to find out what could be done to get rid of such blemishes.
vitiligo (vit uh LIE goh; vit ill EYE goh) (s) (noun); vitiligos, vitiligines (pl)
1. A skin condition in which there is loss of pigment (color) from areas of skin, resulting in irregular white patches that feel like normal skin: Shortly after he entered his teen years, Ashton noticed the development of vitiligo on his back.
2. A condition in which skin turns white due to the loss of melanocytes also known as leukoderma: Mark received a series of treatments for the vitiligo which was especially noticeable on his right arm.

In vitiligo, the melanocytes, or pigment that gives the skin its normal color, are mysteriously destroyed, leaving depigmented patches of skin on different parts of the body. The hair that grows in areas affected by vitiligo may also turn white.

Vitiligo is more noticeable in darker skinned people because of the contrast of white patches against dark skin.

As the skin gradually loses its color, patch by patch, other people often treat the person with vitiligo like a leper, thinking he/she has a contagious skin disease. In fact, vitiligo is called "white leprosy" in India. Women with it are often discriminated against in marriage. If they develop vitiligo after marriage, it can be grounds for divorce.

—Compiled from information which came from
Webster's New World Medical Dictionary via; and from
Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary, F.A. Davis company; Philadelphia; 1997.

3. Etymology: Latin vitiligo, "a kind of tetter" (any of various skin diseases; such as, eczema, psoriasis, or herpes, characterized by eruptions and itching); coined by Aulus Cornelius Celsus, a Roman physician and writer of the early first century; from vitium, "fault, blemish, taint".
vitiosity (s) (noun), vitiosities (pl)
Harmfulness, criticism, or imperfection: Jane, the union boss, was often accused of having a strong vitiosity about her attitudes regarding the company's management.
vitium (s) (noun), vitia (pl)
A fault or a serious defect: Just before she broke off her engagement, Barbara wrote down all the vitia she could think of about her former boyfriend.
vituperable (adjective), more vituperable, most vituperable
Blameworthy, or deserving severe censure or blame: Driving through a red light at the intersection was a vituperable action and deserved the ticket that was issued by the police officer.
vituperate (verb), vituperates; vituperated; vituperating
1. To rebuke or to criticize harshly or to berate: Martin's mother was vituperating him for tracking in so much mud from his shoes when he came in from the rain.
2. To attack someone in a violently abusive or a severely critical language; to revile: Sabina's supervisor vituperated or strongly criticized her for not getting her report in on time.
3. Etymology: from Latin vituperat-, "censured, disparaged"; from the verb vituperare; from vitium, "fault" + parare, "prepare".
Abusing severely with words.
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Abusing severely with words.
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Abusing severely with words.
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vituperation (s) (noun), vituperations (pl)
Bitter and insulting language including angry criticism: The supervisor used vituperations to let Marsha know that she had really made some serious blunders in her assignment.

Some voters are getting fed up with all of the vituperations that are being thrown back and forth during the campaign.

This vituperate image provides an example of what vituperation means.

The abuse of words or a censure in words.
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vituperative (adjective), more vituperative, most vituperative
Marked by harshly derogatory criticism and faultfinding: Many voters are sick and tired of hearing all of the vituperative comments made towards each other by both political parties during the election.

Some talk-show hosts make more vituperative remarks about their political rivals than is justified or rational.

Faultfinding and severely censuring by using abusive words.
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vituperatively (adverb), more vituperatively, most vituperatively
A description of the way harshly invective information is passed on verbally: Agnus vituperatively directed her anger towards the guy who ran the red light and banged into her new car.