in·​iq·​ui·​tous i-ˈni-kwə-təs How to pronounce iniquitous (audio)
: characterized by iniquity
iniquitously adverb
iniquitousness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for iniquitous

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

Examples of iniquitous in a Sentence

zero tolerance at the academy for cheating and other iniquitous practices
Recent Examples on the Web When those writing about cyber-security and cyber-hacking do so irresponsibly, attempting merely to fan the flames of angst, there is no question that such shoddy and perhaps even iniquitous efforts are sad, hurtful, and do not advance sensibly the battle between cyber-security and cyber-hacking. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 14 June 2021 The food court was a part of this iniquitous setup. Angella Choe, Los Angeles Times, 14 Nov. 2022 Corporate America and conservatives consider the very idea of the government’s deciding what to fund and what not to fund iniquitous. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 22 Nov. 2021 Similar makeovers have been undertaken on behalf of such iniquitous figures as Blackbeard, Henry VIII, Robespierre and the Marquis de Sade. Joe Queenan, WSJ, 10 June 2021 And there's a broader drive in American culture to expose iniquitous power relations and reevaluate revered historical figures. Michelle Goldberg, Star Tribune, 21 May 2021 On January 28, 2020, a lawsuit was filed in federal court in Brooklyn, New York under which 80 people came forward with yet another iniquitous side of NXIVM. Sarah Midkiff,, 28 Oct. 2020 His views on the meaning of the Constitution were considered by some of the political class to be iniquitous. Leslie Southwick, National Review, 17 Sep. 2019 Cosmopolitanism — the idea of moral community among human beings, regardless of social and political affiliation — is alive and well, in spite of whatever iniquitous sludge might ooze out from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Los Angeles Times, 12 Sep. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'iniquitous.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1726, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of iniquitous was in 1726

Dictionary Entries Near iniquitous

Cite this Entry

“Iniquitous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


in·​iq·​ui·​tous in-ˈik-wət-əs How to pronounce iniquitous (audio)

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