de·​prav·​i·​ty | \ di-ˈpra-və-tē How to pronounce depravity (audio) also -ˈprā- \
plural depravities

Definition of depravity

1 : a corrupt act or practice the depravities of war
2 : the quality or state of being corrupt, evil, or perverted : the quality or state of being depraved He is awed by its fabulous wealth but deeply troubled by what he sees as its moral depravity— Nicholas D. Kristof

Examples of depravity in a Sentence

He was sinking into a life of utter depravity. People were shocked by the depravity of her actions.
Recent Examples on the Web The Hulu series plumbs the depths of Zoomer depravity. Caroline Downey, National Review, 13 Mar. 2022 The point here is deception mixed with a touch of depravity. Washington Post, 27 Apr. 2022 Trump, Le Pen and Orban don’t come anywhere near the depravity and violence of Putin, who is perpetrating atrocities in Ukraine on a scale not seen since at least the Bosnian war and probably since World War II. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 12 Apr. 2022 But Greene’s and Cawthorn’s insinuations of depravity stand out, because the targets are fellow members of their political party and the claims occurred outside the context of an election. Los Angeles Times, 5 Apr. 2022 Where everyone else sees vandalism and possible depravity, Darnielle describes an earnest attempt at expression, provocation, and a kind of personal exorcism. Robert Rubsam, The New Republic, 24 Feb. 2022 The reason was the depravity that existed here, from the Russian era. Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, 21 Feb. 2022 If metal bands were uniquely positioned to instigate the kind of depravity that made Woodstock ‘99 infamous, why didn’t something like this happen every single night on Ozzfest or Family Values tour? Ian Cohen, SPIN, 24 Feb. 2022 Emboldened by her lies, Rue is falling into depravity fast, now with ambitions to deal drugs, in order to pay for more drugs. Dani Di Placido, Forbes, 26 Jan. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'depravity.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of depravity

1641, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for depravity

see deprave

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Time Traveler for depravity

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The first known use of depravity was in 1641

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Dictionary Entries Near depravity

depraved appetite



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Statistics for depravity

Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Depravity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for depravity


de·​prav·​i·​ty | \ di-ˈpra-və-tē How to pronounce depravity (audio) \
plural depravities

Legal Definition of depravity

1 : the quality or state of being depraved
2 : a corrupt act or practice

More from Merriam-Webster on depravity

Nglish: Translation of depravity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of depravity for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about depravity


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