adjective vi·cious \ˈvi-shəs\

: very violent and cruel

: very dangerous

: having or showing very angry or cruel feelings

Full Definition of VICIOUS

:  having the nature or quality of vice or immorality :  depraved — (see 1vice)
:  defective, faulty; also :  invalid
a :  dangerously aggressive :  savage <a vicious dog>
b :  marked by violence or ferocity :  fierce <a vicious fight>
:  malicious, spiteful <vicious gossip>
:  worsened by internal causes that reciprocally augment each other <a vicious wage-price spiral>
vi·cious·ly adverb
vi·cious·ness noun

Examples of VICIOUS

  1. a vicious tone of voice
  2. I know you're upset with her, but there's no need to be vicious.
  3. Challenging areas of social consensus, however dumb or even vicious the consensus, is largely off limits for the media, because it wins no friends among the general public. —Richard A. Posner, New York Times Book Review, 31 July 2005

Origin of VICIOUS

Middle English, from Anglo-French vicios, from Latin vitiosus full of faults, corrupt, from vitium vice
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of VICIOUS

vicious, villainous, iniquitous, nefarious, corrupt, degenerate mean highly reprehensible or offensive in character, nature, or conduct. vicious may directly oppose virtuous in implying moral depravity, or may connote malignancy, cruelty, or destructive violence <a vicious gangster>. villainous applies to any evil, depraved, or vile conduct or characteristic <a villainous assault>. iniquitous implies absence of all signs of justice or fairness <an iniquitous system of taxation>. nefarious suggests flagrant breaching of time-honored laws and traditions of conduct <the nefarious rackets of organized crime>. corrupt stresses a loss of moral integrity or probity causing betrayal of principle or sworn obligations <city hall was rife with corrupt politicians>. degenerate suggests having sunk to an especially vicious or enervated condition <a degenerate regime propped up by foreign powers>.


adjective vi·cious \ˈvish-əs\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of VICIOUS

:  dangerously aggresive <a vicious dog>
:  of, relating to, or being perverse or abnormal behavior in a domestic animal


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