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noun \ˈvīs\

Simple Definition of vice

  • : bad or immoral behavior or habits

  • : a moral flaw or weakness

  • : a minor bad habit

Full Definition of vice

  1. 1 a :  moral depravity or corruption :  wickedness b :  a moral fault or failing c :  a habitual and usually trivial defect or shortcoming :  foible <suffered from the vice of curiosity>

  2. 2 :  blemish, defect

  3. 3 :  a physical imperfection, deformity, or taint

  4. 4 a often capitalized :  a character representing one of the vices in an English morality play b :  buffoon, jester

  5. 5 :  an abnormal behavior pattern in a domestic animal detrimental to its health or usefulness

  6. 6 :  sexual immorality; especially :  prostitution

Examples of vice

  1. Such men are prone to vice.

  2. He thought gambling was a vice.

  3. Eating too much is my vice.

  4. The city is a den of filth and vice.

Origin of vice

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin vitium fault, vice

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of vice

fault, failing, frailty, foible, vice mean an imperfection or weakness of character. fault implies a failure, not necessarily culpable, to reach some standard of perfection in disposition, action, or habit <a writer of many virtues and few faults>. failing suggests a minor shortcoming in character <being late is a failing of mine>. frailty implies a general or chronic proneness to yield to temptation <human frailties>. foible applies to a harmless or endearing weakness or idiosyncrasy <an eccentric's charming foibles>. vice can be a general term for any imperfection or weakness, but it often suggests violation of a moral code or the giving of offense to the moral sensibilities of others <compulsive gambling was his vice>.

offense, resentment, umbrage, pique, dudgeon, huff mean an emotional response to or an emotional state resulting from a slight or indignity. offense implies hurt displeasure <takes deep offense at racial slurs>. resentment suggests lasting indignation or ill will <harbored a lifelong resentment of his brother>. umbrage may suggest hurt pride, resentment, or suspicion of another's motives <took umbrage at the offer of advice>. pique applies to a transient feeling of wounded vanity <in a pique I foolishly declined the invitation>. dudgeon suggests an angry fit of indignation <stormed out of the meeting in high dudgeon>. huff implies a peevish short-lived spell of anger usually at a petty cause <in a huff he slammed the door>.

offense, sin, vice, crime, scandal mean a transgression of law. offense applies to the infraction of any law, rule, or code <at that school no offense went unpunished>. sin implies an offense against moral or religious law <the sin of blasphemy>. vice applies to a habit or practice that degrades or corrupts <regarded gambling as a vice>. crime implies a serious offense punishable by the law of the state <the crime of murder>. scandal applies to an offense that outrages the public conscience <a career ruined by a sex scandal>.



Definition of vice

  1. chiefly British variant of vise

Other Hardware Terms



preposition \ˈvīs also ˈvī-sē\

Definition of vice

  1. :  in the place of <I will preside, vice the absent chairman>; also :  rather than

Origin of vice

Latin, abl. of vicis change, alternation, stead — more at week

First Known Use: 1770


prefix \ˈvīs, ˌvīs\

Definition of vice-

  1. :  one that takes the place of <vice-chancellor>

Origin of vice-

Middle English vis-, vice-, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin vice-, from Latin vice, abl. of vicis

Medical Dictionary


noun \ˈvīs\

Medical Definition of vice

  1. :  an abnormal behavior pattern in a domestic animal detrimental to its health or usefulness

Seen and Heard

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February 12, 2016

of, relating to, or suggestive of marble

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