turpitude

noun
tur·​pi·​tude | \ ˈtər-pə-ˌtüd How to pronounce turpitude (audio) , -ˌtyüd \

Definition of turpitude

: inherent baseness : depravity moral turpitude also : a base act

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Turpitude comes from Latin turpis, meaning "vile" or "base." The word is often heard in the phrase "moral turpitude," an expression used in law to designate an act or behavior that gravely violates the sentiment or accepted standard of the community. A criminal offense that involves moral turpitude is considered wrong or evil by moral standards, in addition to being the violation of a statute.

Examples of turpitude in a Sentence

pictorial advertisements for chic clothing and fragrances in which drug addiction and other forms of moral turpitude are depicted as alternative fashion statements
Recent Examples on the Web By 1900, nativism had crept into the temperance discourse, as immigrants from Ireland and Italy were associated with drunkenness and moral turpitude. Virginia Heffernan, Wired, 19 Apr. 2022 Norris was charged with four instances of corruption in office and eleven instances of commission of crimes involving moral turpitude. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, 14 Jan. 2022 War became meaningless and simply barbaric, an occasion for moral compromise and turpitude. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, 18 Mar. 2022 Norris was charged with four instances of corruption in office and eleven instances of commission of crimes involving moral turpitude. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, 14 Jan. 2022 In the 1980s, a divestment movement took hold; any engagement with the regime came to be seen as a marker of moral turpitude. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 24 Feb. 2022 Even if prosecutors choose not to include the moral turpitude label, a future election commission judge could still decide Netanyahu's convictions and sentence barred him from politics for the same seven-year period. Hadas Gold, Andrew Carey And Amir Tal, CNN, 18 Jan. 2022 Norris was charged with four instances of corruption in office and eleven instances of commission of crimes involving moral turpitude. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, 14 Jan. 2022 If the sentence is longer than three months, then prosecutors can insist on the inclusion of moral turpitude, which would bar the 72-year-old Netanyahu from politics for seven years according to Israeli law. Hadas Gold, Andrew Carey And Amir Tal, CNN, 18 Jan. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of turpitude

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for turpitude

Middle French, from Latin turpitudo, from turpis vile, base

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The first known use of turpitude was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near turpitude

turpis contractus

turpitude

turps

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Last Updated

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Turpitude.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/turpitude. Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for turpitude

turpitude

noun
tur·​pi·​tude | \ ˈtər-pə-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd How to pronounce turpitude (audio) \

Legal Definition of turpitude

: inherent baseness or depravity also : a base act

More from Merriam-Webster on turpitude

Nglish: Translation of turpitude for Spanish Speakers

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